31 Mar 2018

The rest of the Chinese Crossbowmen

With 48 figures to play with, the Chinese Crossbow Painting Marathon has created lots of opportunities to pad out a number of armies (of course that does mean working on the old "WRG 6th" principle that there is kinda only one Chinese army, and that clothing styles changes little in over a thousand years, but hey...) and here are the full results to follow up on the previous blog post:


Two ADLG units with Pavise on the left, and then a handful of single-based crossbows painted up to match the uniforms of existing single-based halberd and spear armed infantry I already had, allowing them to be deployed together as mixed units, or for these chaps to be used in pairs as crossbow-only units that are colour coded to match the swordsmen-only units in the same army.


Yes, that  lurid dayglow green is a colour scheme on some of my troops - it's donkey's years old, and has even been on table before in some match reports. If I were painting the halberdiers these chaps go with now I probably wouldn't go with it again though...


I've had a load of these pavises lying around in the bits box for years, so finally they get some use. The designs are not wildly inspiring, but after toying with the idea of trying to go for a dragons face for all of, oh, half a second I opted for something easy.


With 48 men to paint, there were spares for a couple of Light Infantry units


Here's the full lineup of double-based Warring States and Han infantry, with Essex in front and Museum behind.


And, finally, from the rear... 

All of these pictures and more are to be found amongst the 3,273 photos of 15mm troops which are currently to be found in the fully-searchable 15mm Figure gallery on my website

28 Mar 2018

15mm Han Mixed Units for L'Art de la Guerre

With Han Chinese coming out as the most popular army for the 15mm L'Art de la Guerre competition at the upcoming Roll Call event, and with a bag of 48 Museum Miniatures Chinese crossbowmen bought second hand from a clubmate burning a hole in the lead pile I decided to have a go at cooking up some double-based  crossbow/swordsman units for a variety of my Chinese armies.

Here are the Warring States/Han versions:


What I've done here is glue together 2 bases worth of Essex Medium Foot Warring States halberdiers, originally on 40x20's but now on a single 40x40 base.


I've then "dug out" the halberdiers from the base at the back, and replaced them by dropping Museum crossbowmen into the "pits" in the rear base that the Essex halberdiers have been dug out of. 


The Essex halberdiers have exceptionally tiny bases, so it's not that tricky to dig out new "pits" in amongst the existing 3 halberdiers on the front base and drop in (well, glue in) the other 3 guys into a new, denser front rank. 


These halberdiers were painted some years ago now, so I had to mix up a paint to sort of match them as I couldn't find (or remember) the originals.


The newly settled-in figures are then bedded in with a few more dabs of the woodfiller I use for basing, as well as doing the same for the join between the 2 original bases.


Wood Glue on cardboard and wood filler if very, very strong, but for added insurance to make sure the 2 bases stick together I shave off the magnabase from the bottom of each one, spin it through 90 degrees and then glue it back onto the base. This poor unit has some particularly skanky offcuts of magnabase for some reason, but at least you can see that it is at right angles to the bases.


 And Voila (if that's what they say in China) - a tidy little mixed unit, with a wall of spearmen at the front and some rear rank crossbows as well.


The basing isn't as perfect as doing it from scratch I freely admit - but it does save time and work and basing material in totally rebasing everything.


These are WiP shots showing the unpainted guys being dropped in the back rank. 



Sometimes you need to tidy up the extra basing material - see the feet of the chap at thee front 


The Museum Miniatures guys are a little taller, but you can't see it unless you are looking for it. Their bases are also a lot bigger than the Essex guys, so I did cut them down a bit with pliers to fit them in. 




 And this is what the Halberdiers look like on their own.


18 Mar 2018

Slice n' Dice - The Samurai are in Action!

Only quite literally moments after taking delivery of a 15mm painted Samurai army from Lurkio (which you have already probably seen on this site) himself, the brave guys (and their probably less enthusiastic cattle) were placed immediately onto the table and pitched straight into a series of brutal battles at Burton Doubles 2018.


This resulted in a fiercely contested Samurai Civil War, two invasions of Europe which saw the Japanese warriors pit their katanas against the historically contemporary bearded axes and knightly lances of the English & Irish, and a return to South Asia for a final showdown with the Elephant Kingdom of the Tamils.


All 4 battles have their own unique write-ups, and this time also come with dedicated Podcasts (available in both Video and Audio formats), either of which will provide you with a running commentary on what approximated for the "thinking" of the two joint Samurai commanders.


The full Samurai spectrum of photos, captions and Hannibal analysis is also - as usual - provided for your delight and despair!

13 Mar 2018

Projects You Probably Shouldn't Start...

Cheap Gripping Beast plastic Arabs are really cool - I have a load for a Saga army that I painted up a couple of years ago.


So... it's then only a short step from there to "Wouldn't it be easy - and cheap - to make a 28mm L'Art de la Guerre generic Arab army mainly out of plastic figures?"

The maths is actually not too bad..
  • 2 boxes of cavalry = 24 figures, which is 6 bases of HC/MC and 3 bases of LH
Add in a box of Foreforge Mongol Cavalry for variety and you're at 10 Cavalry + 6 LH for the mounted, which is more than enough for most 200 point armies.

So, the foot...
  • 1 box of infantry = 44 figures, which is 4 LI and 6 more Medium Foot sword/spear/bowmen
That brings you to about £80 (if you get a good price on eBay for the Gripping Beast Arab boxes) for 26 units.

Add in a few Generals from GB, Footsore and others and it's the core of a solid 28mm Generic Arab army for just under £100.

But... then you realise that the GB boxes (foot and mounted) both have more heads than figures, so you then think about using these spare heads to add to...
  • 2-3 more sprues of GB Vikings and Fireforge Byzantine & Russian infantry bought separately off eBay = another 20-odd armoured figures that could be kit-bashed into more elite Arab warriors, or mixed in with the others anyway for more variety.
  • And then, why not buy some metal foot for even more variety in the BTD sale ?   
So... a project is born.

Of course, the starting point is not the simple stuff. You pick up a Fireforge Byzantine warrior, add in a GB Arab head and shield, and fashion a longer skirt out of Ronseal wood filler.

Here's what that guy looks like right now...





And again, after a lick of paint





It's the point at which you start thinking about adding in a couple of Victrix elephants, and replacing the howdah and crew with Essex Arab elephant crew that it starts to get silly...



9 Mar 2018

28mm Late Roman Casualty Markers

In a sporadic burst of painting, I've finally gotten round to adding some colours to a pack of resin Late Roman casualties from 1st Corps that I picked up at "Derby" last year.

They are still needing a coat of Army Painter to tone them down a little, but anyways, here they are, all ready to sit behind the near-identical Gripping Beast Late Roman infantry that I finished some time ago.
28mm Late Roman Casualty Markers

It's a rather extravagant use of LBMS shield transfers I admit, but lets face it you always buy too many of them and it's and even bigger shame to let them go to waste.

28mm Late Roman Casualty Markers

I'll use the varnish rather than the wash version of Army Painter on these, as it will harden them up for being chucked in a box with the other casualty markers I have.

1st Corps 28mm Late Roman Casualty Markers

I've colour coded these chaps, into "Green", "Yellow" and "Red", mostly based on their shields. This makes them compatible with my usual ADLG hit marker scheme, with Red as 3 hits, Yellow as 2 hits and anything else as the first hit.

1st Corps 28mm Late Roman Casualty Markers

Three dead guys all in red - 3 hits!

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