1 Jul 2020

Baueda Carolingians in 15mm

Another altrusitic purchase to fund Martin at Vexillia's passion for Warrington Town FC, these 4 units of Carolingian mounted archers are from Baueda

The ADLG Carolingian list only has 2 units of them, but with 4 figures in a pack and 3 to a base I kinda thought why not just but the extra pack and get 4 units in case...erm.... well, you know how it goes !


They are jolly little fellows, very much "true" 15mm with just two poses in the pack (Code: CRL5) and come with separate horse and rider.


 In the metal the figures are a little underwhelming, and look somewhat oddly proportioned but the detail is - like with most Baueda figures - really clearly defined and takes a wash extremely well. 

They also have a really great "likability" factor (as saying "they are cute" doesn't really sound right for mail-clad medieval warriors on horseback) and I must admit the thought of extending this to a whole army rather than just morphing some of my genric Dark Age horsemen for the rest of the figures is now quite tempting.


The Bauea site says that "These Frankish horse archers are based on the capitularies' insistance that each armoured horsemen should own a bow and on contemporary artistic depictions. Their training, experience, weapons, armour and equipment are the same as the other caballarii, but with the addition of a bow."

They are now in the 15mm photo gallery on Madaxeman.com



28 Jun 2020

The return of the Malifaux Painting Mojo

In a world of lockdown painting in which I'd already done a 28mm Ancients army (the Assyrians), a 10mm French Napoleonic army and also a 15mm Medieval Hungarian, I suddenly found myself in need of some additional variety

This was not because the other three were in any way similar topics, or uniforms - it was more about trying to paint individual figures rather than painting up and finishing a full army, with a 'full army' on table mass effect.

Prompted in the Lockdown Podcast to remember that I did have some Malifaux figures on the painting pile (although rather hidden in a cupboard) I dug them out and was pleasantly surprised to remember that there were more than I thought - I had forgotten buying Envy, from the Crossroads Seven, from eBay to add to the box-completing extras for the new Kaeris crew, Sparks (my first Gremlin) to go with Mei Feng and finally Neil Henry just to do some old fashioned beating

There are loads of pictures on the website, but here are a few tasters:
















26 Jun 2020

The Lockdown Specials - Part 14

The Lockdown Specials - Part 14 is now out as we reach 99 days into the UK Lockdown and our tsunami of mixed-quality painting continues to roll on and on across seven different desks spread far and wide across the Southern half of England, and yet again this is your chance to share that experience in full stereophonic audio quality.

In this week's episode there is a vague attempt made to answer the questions posed in this exact same block of text last week but which last week's podcast failed to even mention, the many questions that the subject of badgers always throws up are debated in probably the most thorough way ever seen on any wargaming-specific podcast, the Later Ottoman army gets picked apart in both it's Serbian and non-Serbian incarnations, and Andy's Quiz returns yet again.

Other topics given a 99-day airing include what the best paint schemes are for burger bars, whether Napoleon ever got irritated with the Austrians always suing for peace after he beat them, which blue is best for painting denim, what is the correct way to pronounce your own name in a Swiss bowling alley, is there a way out of existential Janissary angst, what's the correct payment-in-kind for a 3 hour truck ride across Alabama, just how big is Steve from LBMS' house, and whether Ancient British baggage now needs to include an underground bypass for your own personal 15mm A303.

25 Jun 2020

A kinda, sorta, virtual match report ...

Before you ask, I am slowly working through the match reports from March this year from Cold Wars. Unfortunately the lighting in the venue on the first day was rather poor so the pictures are taking a while to fix up which has been slowing me down - but in the meantime I have managed to record a game of ADLG online played with Tabletop Simulator software, and cobble it together into a sort of video match report.

I've sped up the game and posted it online in this video on the Madaxeman Youtube Channel so you don't have to sit through the whole thing - the end result is compressed into a smidge over 10 minutes. I also then dubbed in my own commentary on what I was hoping to achieve, and what actually happened.


The battle featured me using Alexanders army (rather rustily it must be said) vs an Achaemenid Persian force commanded from Barcelona. Somewhat irritatingly the software I was using to record the game had a setting which stopped the recording at the 2-hour mark, just short of the (really exciting!) last couple of bounds, but you still get most of the whole game in around 10 minutes.

Tabletop Simulator is a "physics engine" (so, no rules, just moveable pieces) that you can buy in Steam. The armies and tables are (sort of) downloadable content that you can get in the Steam Workshop from Helveticus and Massimo, and then use to build and import an army list and tabletop into the game.  

18 Jun 2020

Podcats #12 and #13

If you're already a subscriber via iTunes, Podbean, RSS, or on Spotify or (now) Youtube you'll know tha there have now been 13 episodes of the Lockdown Podcast series, but if you just read the front page of Madaxeman.com (and never glance at the sidebar) you may accidentally have missed the news that episodes #12 and #13 are already out there in the wild



At the moment the Podcast is consistently drawing something like 150 listeners per week, which is kinda staggering, so why not give it a go and listen in as background banter for your weekend of lockdown painting.

17 Jun 2020

Ottoman-Balcan Yaya in 15mm

The Ottoman-Balcan Yaya from Baueda are some of the oddest figures out there, armed with un;it incendiary javelins - so with the imminent closure of Vexillia I of course needed to help Martin out by buying a packet of them from him to help fund his retirement! 




.I made these up as a 6-figure Spear unit and a 2-figure LF javelinmen unit. You can still get them from Baueda directly if you so wish. 


15 Jun 2020

Hungarian infantry & Archers

Having finished the Hungarian cavalry (and some of the foot) a week or so ago, the rest of the army pack has crept to the top of the painting pile. 

These are the two types of spearmen, as well as some bowmen:


This is EMED41 Hungarian 1300-1450: Heavy Spearmen. They have a squared-off shield that is slightly V-shaped in profile, making it very easy to print off a rectangular image and use it as a shield design. I based these in a defensive block as a visual counterpoint to the other spear figures. 


These are EMED40 Hungarian 1300-1450: Heavy Spearman, with an odd-looking notch out of the bottom corner of the shield. This meant picking a design where that bit of the shield could be missing!


All of these are printed out on normal paper, glued on with PVA, cut down to size with a new scalpel blade (very important when trimming these as otherwise the paper can fray), gloss varnished then matt varnished. 


Here's the two formations next to each other 


And all three units of the 'bastion' deployed spearmen


EMED42 Hungarian 1300-1450: Archers - rather an eclectic mix of figures in this pack, and I ended up painting the padded jackets in brown with sandy stripes to give an impression of the banded padding. 


The rest of the uniforms are mostly in classic Hungarian Green and Red. 


The rest of the army is online at https://www.madaxeman.com/main/15mm_Hungarians.php 

7 Jun 2020

Medieval Hungarians - an army from Essex !

After finishing the 10mm French and the 28mm Assyrians, the next Lockdown project has been a 15mm Essex Ready Made Medieval Hungarian army. 


It was sold as a FoGAM army, but with a bit of a squint has more than enough troops to give me all the options and more for both a Feudal and Medieval Hungarian ADLG list. 


With extra time in Lockdown I also took this as an opportunity to take more time than I usually do in painting the army, and especially to try and do the horses properly, in a process which is fully explained on the website (and is very simple). 

I also experimented with a new, higher resolution printer we now have at home, and found a load of images for shields on the web, printed them out onto normal paper and glued them onto the shields of the figures to make them a lot better than I could ever hope to paint.


I also upcycled some old figures and added new shield graphics to them as well. In the absence of LBMS transfers for this army it seemed to go OK. I've posted the WiP and lots of photos of the finished figures on a couple of pages on Madaxeman.com, including a link to download a PDF of some of the shield graphics I used



There's still a few more spearmen to come, but the bulk of the army is now online.

6 Jun 2020

Lockdown Podcast #11

In another surprisingly lengthy podcast the full team celebrate being back together with a conversation that covers all bases, as well as a few associated basing materials.   

Topics addressed in almost painstaking detail include;
  • whether ink is just watered down paint with a better PR, 
  • if starting a new period by painting the terrain before the figures is a crime against nature, 
  • whether if ArmyPainter is good enough for goblins does that mean it's also good enough for the legions of Rome, 
  • how long can anyone talk about an army who's uniforms are all white, 
  • definitive proof that Eddy Izzard is actually talented at that comedy malarkey, 
  • is the choice to paint horses or riders first the wargamers equivalent of the age-old "clotted cream / jam" debate, 
  • how invading Egypt might be the ideal way to take a war to the British, 
...and - of course, a timely reminder of the poetic genius of Eric Morcecambe. 

There is also a discussion about that perennial under-achieving arab army, the Fatimid Egyptians in ADLG, another set of questions in Andy's Quiz, and the second triumphant week of Teaching Timmy about Napoleon.


As usual the Podcast is published on Podbean, and is syndicated to all of your favourite Podcast platforms 

29 May 2020

Lockdown Podcast #10

With a frightening lurch into double figures (or a proper round dozen if paintbrushes and glue are your thing) the Lockdown team from Madaxeman.com are back yet again with the weekly soundtrack to a weekend of painting and avoiding household chores. 

As usual the podcast is available on Podbean, iTunes, Spotify and YouTube as well as other platforms where you find your pods.

Hot topics for tepid discussion this week include whether the best yellow paint is in fact Plague Brown, the Tau of Fire Hydrant Numerology, whether there was an aftermarket for refitting Egyptian chariots with go faster stripes and pumping stereos, how posh would a Samurai leader need to be in order to qualify for a self flushing toilet, whether Sisyphus would have been daft enough to start painting 28 bases of horses and how many arms per man do you need to make Fireforge's box of Mongol infantry.

The regular feature on ADLG List Building this week covers the Nikephorian Byzantines (in all its various modes of spelling), Andy's Quiz of course returns to help us all disco-down into the weekend, we talk in more depth about playing actual games on Tabletop Simulator, and a new feature is born in the shape (and theme tune) of Teaching Timmy About Napoleon, an idiot's guide to the Napoleonic Wars

25 May 2020

Giving Bataille Empire a Go in The Garden

Having spent ages in Lockdown painting my 10mm Napoleonic French army, I have been keen to give the Bataille Empire rules a bit of a go. 

The rules have a beginners scenario, with two smallish equal forces attacking each other across simple terrain which is intended to give players a chance to learn the basics of movement and combat before moving onto bigger games and adding the all-important "orders" layer to the game - so this was what I attempted to do one sunny weekend afternoon last week.


The game was set up on a standard ADLG 80-120 mat, and I used 30mm MU move distances using some sticks I'd made from 30mm electrical spacers.


All in all I'm pleased to report that the mechanics flowed pretty clearly and allowed me to push lead around without too much head-scratching, to roll some dice and generate some outcomes.


This was my very first time shoving Napoleonic lead around at all, so I mostly learnt that there is more to this lark than Ancients with more complicated uniforms - it's certainly a very different feel, with different mechanics built on the same fundamental D6-based engine as ADLG. All in all an encouraging start and proof that my 10mm painting frenzy has not been wasted. 




22 May 2020

Lockdown Podcast #9



As the landmark of a double-figure number of Lockdown Podcast Episodes rapidly approaches, and with almost 1,400 Podcast downloads in the last month under our belts the 9th Lockdown Podcast is now out on Podbean, iTunes, Spotify and (soon) the Madaxeman Youtube Channel

This week the team of intrepid wannabe gamers and by-now-obsessive painters luxuriate yet again in the riches of a combined painting queue that stretches all the way from the pyramids of Ancient Egypt to the tower stacks of Mega City One.

In the fleeting moments of the podcast that take place before we reach Andy's Quiz Music a wide variety of debates take place - the best board games for feuding siblings, using the type of garden feature which would raise eyebrows in a parliamentary expenses committee for tabletop terrain, genetic similarities between Vikings and Saxons, whether treatments for 10mm addiction could be made available on the NHS, how to sneak lead through domestic customs inspections, and in a newly trimmed version of the ADLG list discussion we all take a vote on who we think would win in a Jurchen Ch'in-Jurchen Ch'in face-off (hint - the Song Chinese always come off worst...).

There's also a whole load of discussion about how Tabletop Simulator (available on Steam) might actually be the solution we all didn't realise we were looking for to get some (virtual) lead on a (virtual) table in the near future - all of which gets crammed in before Andy's Quiz. 


(I promise I'll have some actual picture-led painting and gaming stuff out this weekend as well!) 

16 May 2020

Blue Moon Swiss Pikemen

At Cold Wars I picked up a pack of Blue Moon 18mm Swiss Pikemen (15WS-105: Swiss Pikeman Advancing), partly because I was one pike block short* for my 15mm ADLG Swiss army, partly because I really like the small handful of Blue Moon figures I already own (namely their Three Musketeers set) and also as I just wanted to spend some money with traders in what was a very quiet, "even of lockdown" trader hall.

Those figures and now finally finished, and out of the pack of 30 figures I managed to conjure up two 12-man pike blocks (on 40x40 ADLG bases) as well as half a dozen halberdiers.  

The figures all came without pikes or weapons, so I also took the opportunity to try something I'd stumbled across online where a blogger gave instructions how to make plastic spears with actual tips - a much more sophisticated approach than the 'brass rod with the end painted silver" approach I'd been using beforehand. I've sadly failed to remember where I saw this idea, but I've dug out another site with exactly the same technique.


The figures were really clean and well cast out of the packet, and I duly followed instructions and created plastic pikes and halberds for them all with 0.8mm plastic rod, squeezed at the end and cut to shape. The pikes do have proper points, whilst the halberds are relatively unsophisticated long blades on the end of a pole. 

One downside I discovered however was that with the pikes being soft-ish plastic it was impossible to force the pikes through the partly-open lower hands of the men (which you can do with brass rod). As drilling out a load of hands which are cast close to the mens bodies wasn't something I really wanted to do, these pikemen ended up all holding their pikes at the butt-end in their left hands.  


I went with a black undercoat, drybrushed white using a tip from Dave on the Madaxeman Podcast a couple of weeks ago. I had throught this technique was about getting extra depth for the colours when using semi-transparent paints, but he pointed out that a white drybrush also really helps pick out the contours of the figure and guides your painting of them, which an all-black undercoat can make quite difficult to follow. 


Here they are almost done. As usual I used a very narrow colour palette, with white and red being the first two colours onto the figures. 

I've been struggling with getting good consistency and coverage from my go-to red, Army Painter Pure Red, and so recently changed to Vallejo Scarlet and Vallejo Dark Vermillion, both of which seem much better so far. The blue is a Vallejo Game Colour Electric Blue, and the yellow is Army Painter, but always on a full white undercoat. 
 

Unlike most of my other medieval figures the Swiss I have are generally not ink-washed, as their bright colours seems to work better if they are not muted - Swiss are stand-out troops anyway so why not make them "ping" a bit more? Paul Frith's 28mm Perry Swiss army also provided some inspiration for this approach when I played it last year at a competition - although it's not nearly as aggressively black-lined as these ones are.
 

I have however blacklined them - not a technique I usually do as it's a PITA, and not really compatible with ink-washing but here it seemed necessary to highlight the different blocks of colour. 
 

To give them a little more detail I added some white-on-red crosses onto some of their backs, sleeves and trousers. These I didn't blackline - there is a limit to my steadiness of hand!


The Blue Moon figures are very clean designs, but despite being marketed as 15mm by Old Glory UK I'm much more inclined to regard them as being the "15mm/18mm" scale as they are described by Blue Moon in the USA

Stood next to some Mirliton Swiss pikemen here the difference in stature and height is obvious, with the Blue Moon men being a full head taller than the Mirliton ones - although ensuring that the pikes are the same height on both blocks of men does go a long way to obscuring the difference in stature on the tabletop. 

Facing off against the Mirliton men I think my money is on the Blue Moon soldiers to win this particular push-of-pike! 


Here the QRF pikemen join the line on the left, with Blue Moon in the middle and Mirliton on the right of the photo. QRF are also "true 15mm" and are tiny next to the Blue Moon guys - the following photo where the Blue Moon figures are unpainted shows how the addition of equal-height pikes does tone down the difference in stature though. 


 
Overall I do really, really like these figures, but they are big, and stylistically very different to other ranges so it would be pretty much impossible to mix them in the same unit with any other manufacturer. Side by side in different units is just about OK at tabletop ranges though. 

This one packet of unarmoured pikemen also doesn't quite have enough variety of poses for my taste  (there are too many flat beret hats, which when painted in a range of colours can make the unit look a little like a packet of M&M's when viewed from above!) so I'd buy a mix of armoured and unarmoured men next time and mix them together were I to do this experiment again.

The jury is very much out however on whether the plastic pike-making experiment is one I'll continue with, as I've already snapped a couple of pikes with just normal handling. They do glue back on very easily (the plastic doesn't melt with Superglue thankfully) but I suspect the problem may be that the 0.8mm plastic rod I used (from Plastruct) is either just too thin, or too brittle to really work as it should. Creating the points is easy, and very effective so I may try that part of the technique again with 1mm rod, or even go thicker for spears for some 28mm figures. 

Casting around online the more permanent solution seems to be to buy a cheap sweeping brush head, and cut off the bristles - but that's currently harder to do with online shopping as Amazon doesn't tend to say how thick the individual bristles are on the brushes they are selling!


And finally, here they are with their Gnome of Zurich leader hurling his stinky cheese at the enemy! 


* This is of course a lie. I don't "need" any more pike blocks, I have got 9 already, and a load of other medieval ones who could be pressed into Swiss service if needed. But as long as I don't tell myself I'm sure I won't realise.

15 May 2020

A Flurry of Podcasts

Over the last couple of weeks I've been busy chatting online with some of my CLWC cubmates, and the result is a positive flurry of podcasts which are all now available on Podbean, on iTunes and now also on Spotify to be background chatter to yoru weekend of painting. 

First up is a one-off special ADLG 'cast looking at some of the ways to design a New Kingdom Egyptian army list to get the best out of this historically popular, but hard to run army. The 'pod had input from Richard Case, who's previous podcast on the Sassanid Persian army proved very popular.  This podcast is also available to watch and listen to on YouTube with some pictures of NKE figures and match report photos as well.


There are also now two special bonus episodes of the Madaxeman Podcast online, each addressing a very specific topics. The first bonus episode on the vexed subject of how to choose a paintbrush (and how much to spend on it) has been out for a week or so already and has been downloaded almost 100 times so far. A follow-up episode in which the subject of different types of Glue is discussed was also released earlier this week.

Finally, just in time for your weekend of painting the 8th "Lockdown Special" has been released today covering a broad range of important yet strangely rarely discussed topics such as what colour should rigging be on a 1/240th scale 19th Century Ironclad, do Gnomes still have a place in modern warfare, can a camel get a tan if it stands out in the desert too long, is the Austrian army a painters dream or simply a signifier of laziness, if a Grenzer joined the cast of Eastenders would he become a Geezer, is it still legal to resist buying 10mm Napoleonics and does getting your children to paint Perry plastics fall under the remit of the Modern Day Slavery act?

There is also a phenomenally long discussion on how to assemble and use Hannibals Carthaginian army under ADLG (and instructions on how to skip over it if you're not interested in ADLG list building), and a new feature on what games we have actually played in the last week. Oh, and Andy's Quiz returns - cue the music!  

These and all previous episodes are now available on Podbean, on iTunes and now also on Spotify

9 May 2020

10mm French Napoleonics - a Lockdown Painting Challenge

Can you believe that I've never owned any Napoleonic figures, played any Napoleonic games or even read any books about the Napoleonic Wars? I mean, I've not even watched a single episode of Sharpe! 

But, finally the inevitable has caught up with me, and with the help of a nudge from the arrival of a set of rules which more than one person at my club might potentially agree to play (in the form of Bataille Empire) I have finally taken the plunge and dipped my toe into Napoleon's wars.

Of course, being respectful of the principles of Napoleonic gaming in which every player must have their own individual approach to rules, scale, basing, terminology history, uniform and painting I had to find a means of doing something unique and (in some way at least partly) incompatible with my clubmates - so with everyone else already having 15-18mm troops based for Blucher, FoGN and various other sets I went my own way and built an army in 10mm with a large investment in Pendraken lead in the form of a French starter army picked up at Warfare 2019. 

I then topped this up with a few more orders from the nice chaps at Pendraken and added in a couple of extra purchases from Old Glory and The Wargaming Company (both made at Cold Wars 2020 just before Lockdown struck) to leave me with the daunting painting challenge of maybe 500+ foot and mounted figures to do under Lockdown conditions, hopefully to leave me with a viable Bataille Empire army that is still utterly different to the stuff owned by the people I'll be (eventually) playing.

I took a load of photos through the painting process, and learnt quite a lot about painting 10mm massed, uniformed figures as well - all of which is is now online on Madaxeman.com on a page with about 70 photos of the WiP and finished army, as well as my thoughts and learnings from the near-industrial process of getting them all done.










  

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