Saturday, 20 March 2021

AHPC Final Entry: Dark Ages Irish

 Well, the Analogue Hobbie Painting Challenge XI has come to a close and my final entry is 8 Dark Ages Irish from Crusader Miniatures.

A while ago I picked up about 4 points of Irish for Saga. The minis are a mix of Footsore and Crusader.
I liked the look of the Crusader Irish- the mix of bare chests, cloaks and vests- so I ordered 8 more.
In Saga terms these are warriors, armed with javelins.
Although there are 8 figures, there are only 4 poses, but not a big deal. They were fun to paint and painted up both quickly and well.

I may collect a few more as I have a Anglo-Norman force for Lion Rampant and with a suitable Irish force they could face off against each other in games set in the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland.

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Welcome To Brewsterville

 I have ventured into a new gaming period: the Old West. A few (several?) months ago DaveB and I ordered up some Brigade Games miniatures from their American West range. Even before I selected my figures I knew that I wanted to name them after characters from song. 

The first one I painted was Henry Waits Alone:

Old horse thief moon
shine down upon us
from Medicine Hat
to Writing-on-Stone
shine deep in the canyons
shine deep in the coulees
shine down on Henry Waits Alone
- Horse Thief Moon, Ian Tyson

Henry is a fictional character, possibly based on or inspired by someone Mr. Tyson knew. On his album Live at Longview he sings the last line of that verse as "Henry, he waits all alone". It is unclear if the intention is to represent Henry as First Nations but that is how I chose to paint him. Stands Alone is not an uncommon surname amongst some First Nations on the prairies.

Next up I painted Lil Joe The Wrangler:
Little Joe the wrangler
will wrangle ne'ermore
his days with the roundup they are o'er
was a year ago last April when he rode into our camp
a little Texas stray and nothing more
-Little Joe The Wrangler,  N. Howard Thorpe (traditional)

This was my favourite to paint of the 6. I picked this figure for Little Joe as he was the youngest looking of the 9 I have. In the song Joe is clearly much younger than this figure as he gives his reason for leaving home as 'his new ma whooped him every day or two' (probably about 11-13 years old or so).

The next figure in the queue is un-named- simply referred to as "the stranger" in the traditional cowboy song, The Zebra Dun:
we were camped out on the prairie
at a bend on the Cimarron
when along comed a stranger
he stopped to argue some
he looked so very foolish
setting there alone
we thought he was a greenhorn
escaped from some town
Zebra Duntraditional

This mini was the most 'urban' looking of the old west figures I have so he got painted up as The Stranger on account of the fancy cut of his jacket, his nicely trimmed moustache and military style riding boots ( a possible explanation for why he was  mistaken for a 'greenhorn, escaped from some town'). 

Yavapai Pete is a fictional character from a poem by Curley Fletcher. There are actually two versions of the song; one paints Pete as a hard as nails cowboy and the other as a criminal. I chose the former.
Yavapai Pete was a cowpuncher neat
from Arizona's fair clime
he lived in the saddle and punched most the cattle
from here to the Mexican line

his ridin' was sassy, his ropin' was classy
he liked to mix mingle with maul
not much of a thinker, was more of drinker
could hold up his end of a brawl
- Yavapai Pete, Curley Fletcher

With the bushy beard and large floppy hat I though he looked the wildest of the figures I have.  Although it doesn't really come across in the photo, he has a bit of a fierce, intense countenance without looking nuts.

Another cowboy classic is Windy Bill:
Windy Bill was a Texas man 
an' he could rope you bet!
a steer that Windy hadn't tied 
he had not met him yet
but the boys they talked of a little black steer 
who was a kind of a bad outlaw
he lived down in the malpais
at the foot of a rocky draw
-Windy Bill, traditional

Windy comes across as a bit of a classy dude; when he fails to bring the steer in he "pays his debts like a little old man, without no bit of jaw". My preference would be for him to be wearing chaps and I considered sculpting some but they would have covered up his lovely boots and time was also a consideration.

The final figure is inspired by a song about a true cowboy, Bob Fudge:
My name is Bob Fudge
I was born in Texas
Lampasas County
back during the war
small pox and Comanches
took most of my family
left my poor brothers
my mother and me
-Bob Fudge, Ian Tyson

I chose this figure to represent Bob Fudge largely because he seemed the least aggressive or confrontational. Mr. Tyson's biographical song does not suggest Mr. Fudge was anything more than a cowboy who loved the lifestyle: riding the ranges of Montana and ranching.

Every Old West game needs a rural town for a setting; mine is Brewsterville, the name an homage to both my partner in this endeavour and the Fraser Valley gold rush town of Barkerville, currently a living history museum in the interior of British Columbia.
This first building for this gold rush town is the Perry Miniatures North American store.

A great little kit, easy to assemble bit it may be a little fragile for skirmish play as it is made from thin styrene like a scale model kit.

I imagine that back in the day, true paint would have been a rare commodity in the west so those that could made due with whitewash and stain. 

Even still the harsh weather would have taken it's toll, causing the thinned paint to fade and peel.

I enjoy putting this one together and I have the North American Church stashed somewhere. I will probably also buy the North American house kit; the kit is the same as the store but an end wall without the false front is available. 

Perhaps a third barn...

Saturday, 13 February 2021

More Conquest Games Archers

Last week I was able to finish off 6 more Conquest Games' plastic Medieval archers.

After assembling and painting the previous 6 I had a better idea of how to proceed with these ones.

I was able to achieve a more natural posing but the head/torso issues are still there.

Some of the heads are really nice pieces of sculpting. Conquest has managed to get the facial features nicely pronounced without being exaggerated. They are easy to paint; you can achieve a nice result without being Da Vinci.

Here is all 12, equaling 1 point of Levies in Saga:

Friday, 29 January 2021

Flemish Mercenaries for Saga

 Having had these plastic Normans laying around for almost 10 years I figured  the AHPC was a good time to put them together and get them painted.

In Saga, Normans on foot don't get much benefit from the Battleboard abilities unless they are armed with missile weapons. Although they cannot gain advantage from the Battleboard Flemish mercenaries are a solid defensive unit; for those that are interested, their rules can be found here.

Four of the Flemings were constructed straight from the components of the Conquest Games Norman Infantry box set. Very straight forward:
For the other four I used some components from Conquest Games Medieval Archers box set. The two below were made using the bodies in mail from the Archers box. The one on the left also has a head from that kit whereas the one on the right has a head from the Norman Infantry kit.
Arms with spears and shields from the Norman Infantry set.
My preference would have been for all the Flemings to be in mail but I ran out of bodies so attired and had to make use of  two in padded jacks.
Both of these figures have heads from the Medieval Archers kit; arms with weapons and shields from the Norman Infantry set as per usual.
All shields were hand painted. Although most of them turned out OK, a couple of them did not. I think in the future, unless it is a dead simple design, I will be using transfers as I did with my Taifa kingdoms miniatures. 

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Crossbowmen For Saga

 As part of my Analogue Painting Challenge one of my goals is to finish off a couple Saga warbands. To that end I have painted up some Crusader Miniatures Crossbowmen for my Normans.

They are actually from Crusader's El Cid range but are suitable for Normans.

I found the figures alright to paint. I quite like the faces though the detail on a couple of the left hand eyes was a bit obscured.

In Saga terms these 8 figures count as one point of warriors. Once the archers are finished that will give me two units to take advantage of some of those shooty abilities.

Sunday, 20 December 2020

On Your Mark...

  I have spent the bulk of my hobby time since my last entry preparing for my rookie season of the Analogue Painting Challenge which gets underway tomorrow. The advised points goal for rookies is 300 pts (equals 60 28mm figures); I am pretty confident that I should make it but I have a couple of projects I want to pursue outside the challenge so I wanted a fairly low bar. This lot should take me to my goal:

It includes:
  • the dock sections and boats from GW's Lake-town House Multipack
  • 8 Crusader Norman Crossbowmen
  • 8 Flemish Mercenaries made from Conquest Games' Norman Infantry
  • 6 Conquest Games Norman Archers
  • 8 Crusader Dark Ages Irish
  • 6 Brigade Games Cowboys and Gunslingers
  • 4 Blackstone Fortress characters
  • 21 Blackstone Fortress baddies
  • 3 mounted ECW characters from Warlord Games
  • 3 ECW infantry from (2 Perry's, 1 WG)
  • 1 Renedra North American Store
If I manage to get through that I have two bins of odds and sodds primed and ready to go including more ECW, Samurai, Anglo Saxons, 15mm Carthaginians, 3rd edition Genestealers, 3rd edition Stormtroopers and some 6mm GHQ Soviets.

I did get distracted from painting prep by some trees. On a recent shopping trip to London Drugs (a Canadian retail pharmacy chain) I came across some Lemax Butternut Trees in their seasonal section.

These are twisted wire trees set in resin bases. If you don't dig the bases the trees come out with a bit of prying. I was content to leave them in. For winter scenes they are perfect as is, but I wanted to make use of all those wire branches to get a nice canopy so I pulled them apart.

 After that I got a bit ahead of myself and I gave the canopy a bit of primer as I wanted grey branches. I had to go back and add some 3M Stripping Pad material to the canopy, prime again, and followed that with some Rustoleum Chalked Ultra Matte spray (Cocoa Bean) on the trunk, obligatory drybrush and wash.

Then I started the process of adding Scenic Express SuperLeaf:

In the end it was a little more work then I anticipated, but not as much as making the trees from scratch.
The trees were about $12 each, which works out to about $3.50 less per tree than Woodland Scenics premade large deciduous trees that I have (not the Premium Trees). On the one hand these trees are about an inch shorter than the WS trees and you have to add a canopy if you are not going to use them as winter trees; and twisted wire trunks are not everyone's up of tea. On the other hand the trunks are painted (if I had been more careful I could have avoided painting the trunks) and my method for adding the canopy presents a nicer, open canopy than the opaque canopy created by the clump foliage that comes on the WS trees.

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Refurbished ECW From Ebay

 This past June I found a Canadian selling some second hand ECW figures on ebay. It's pretty rare to see such a thing. Although not a steal, the price was OK, and I knew I would have to tune them up a bit to fit them into my collection. It proved to be a little more work that I thought but in the end acceptable. 

The figures were from a mix of manufacturers; the picture below gives you an idea of the painting on the minis and the different ranges. Whoever painted many of the figures did very little to clean up the castings before starting; lots of mould lines and bits of flashing were painted over.

I believe we are looking at (from L to R) Old Glory, Old Glory again, Renegade(?), Redoubt (?), Perry. 

I think the bulk of the musketeers in this wing are either Old Glory or Redoubt, with a couple of Perrys  in the front rank and possibly one or two in the rear rank:
The rear rank of this wing is mostly Perry:
The pikemen are mostly Perry; I am unsure of the command figures :
One of the pike bases is made up of new figures. Just for shits and giggles I decided to put figures from 4 different manufacturers on one  40 mm base; we have - from left to right- 1st Corp, Avanpost, Perry and Warlord Games.
The large size of the 1st Corps figure and distinctive sculpting of the face makes it stand out when compared to the others at close range. The Avanpost figure is resin with sharp, fine detail but is quite fragile (I broke his scabbard when assembling him). I loved painting the smooth finish of the resin. I think that perhaps the Perry moulds are getting a little tired; the casting was a little rough in spots with flash, some minor pitting and, what I can only describe as, lead 'lint'.

However, at gaming distance the large size of the 1st Corps figure, the poor prep from the previous painter and any other minor issues are not even noticeable.