A Few Additions

I am slowly working through the basing of a few batches of figures painted over the winter. I’ll post them as I finish them, here are the first few.

Two crossbow-armed dwarves, classic Citadel figures from the 80s that recently received a re-paint. The guy holding the crossbow up was the original figure for my first ever D&D character, Athor. He’s almost old enough to qualify for a vaccine jab! Painting them as veterans seemed appropriate.

Next, a couple of very large rats from the Reaper Bones range. When used with 15mm figures they’ll be absolute monsters.

Another Reaper Bones figure below, this one is an Undead Dwarf.

Finally, the remaining unit for my previously-posted 15mm Sci-fi Friendlies force (based on the Dorsai novels). These are militia fighters, from CP Models.

More soon…

15mm Buildings for Dark Ages and Fantasy

I recently bought some resin models from ebay to add to the few I already had. This prompted a long overdue re-paint of the thatch on the older buildings, which were a bit bright and yellowy for my current taste. Some bases also needed a bit of work, so getting the new ones in

Scratchbuilt longhouse, from many moons ago

Next I want to add a watchtower and some wattle fencing. Hopefully soon…

Walls for homebrew 15mm Sci-fi bug hunt game

This game, a spin-off from my dungeon adventure game, was designed to be mostly 2 dimensional – by which I mean floor tiles for rooms and corridors, but with some vertical features such as doors and internal machinery.

Naturally, expansionist ideas got the better of me and I started picturing walls enclosing the spaces, to help develop the atmosphere and claustrophobic feel.

Not fancying the huge task of modelling the detail on 12 feet of 1 inch high walls, I was saved by the loan of a Green Stuff World roller, designed to press suitable generic sci-fi detail into soft material. It worked a treat on styrofoam.

After a false start, when I realised I didn’t have the means or talent to accurately and consistently cut perfect styrofoam strips, I decided to upgrade the design to include MDF frames. These would allow me to insert 2 pieces of indifferently cut 10mm rollered styrofoam. The frames would provide structure and allow everything to be lined up neatly in the game. I made a decent number each of 1, 2, 3 and 4 inch long sections, each 1 in deep and a total of 33mm tall when based on cork tile (matching the room tiles).

The timber yard: mdf components from Warbases ready for assembly
Assembly done. Looks like a model of a TV warehouse
Rollered sytofoam pieces cut to (approximate) size to fit into frames

Lots of gluing then ensued.

Then lots of undercoating everything black, with 2 coats. This was definitely the most tedious stage and nearly defeated me!

Finally, the quick bit always seems to be the actual painting. I stuck with the pallet I’d used for the existing features, grey, green and a bit of ‘warning’ yellow here and there. Finally a sandy dry-brush and picking out the rollered panel edges with a fine tipped maker pen.

After some months of start-stop effort, they’re finally done. There’s enough for a typical game, with half a dozen or so rooms and corridor sections. When lockdown ends, it’ll get a proper run out.

Not So Friendly – 15mm Sci-fi

My painting over the November/December period wasn’t hugely productive, but I did manage to finish a Sci-fi force. Like most of my other projects, these guys have been languishing for a good few years, and it was good to finally get them done.

They are a force for Sci-fi Rampant (which is basically Dragon Rampant with carefully allocated unit types and upgrades, as referred to in previous posts).

The inspiration comes from Gordon R. Dickson’s Dorsai novels, specifically the mercenaries hired out from the Friendlies, a pair of planets populated by an intensely religious sect. They’re mediocre troops, but well disciplined. To make them more interesting I have sort of blended this background with the attack-minded doctrine and unit types of the Soviets in WWII.

The core is therefore made up of large squads of close assault troops (12 figures per squad compared to the usual 6 for better quality units), backed up by heavy weapons, mortar/artillery spotters, snipers and a bit of assault armour. There are 60 figures, all from GZG (the tank is from Brigade Models). The one addition I’m making is a further squad of 12, using CP Models figures in turbans. These are painted but not yet based.

I’m looking forward to trying this lot on the table. They’re going to take a lot of casualties going in but with their sheer numbers, and black uniforms, they should be a daunting sight for the enemy!

Bigger Fields

Following on from my 6mm fields, I’ve upscaled and added some for 28mm. These take the standard wargamer route; chopped up doormat material. I found a helpful ebay shop that sells it by length (50cm wide), so I simply ordered 1 metre, dontated 80cms of it for a new front door mat and used the rest for these fields.

Very little of the rubber bases show, so I just painted them brown to blend in with the terrain boards. I cut the pieces into smaller sections for flexibility and for removal of part of a larger combined field when figures need to be placed inside. I only needed a small amount, so all in all, not bad for a couple of quid (the rest of the mat was about £10).

6mm Fields

There’s something nice about making wargame terrain and scenery that isn’t going to warp in the future – so working with neoprene sheet has been a revelation for me. My first efforts focused on some islands for naval games (more on that soon) but recently I decided it would be good to make some textured fields for 6mm games.

My test pieces were cut out of 1.5mm thick neoprene (a few quid for a square metre off ebay) and textured with my usual combination of Sandtex masonry paint and builders’ sand. I then reduced the production time for the second batch by texturing and painting a larger sheet (about a foot square) and then cutting it up and texturing the edges.

As long as I don’t try too hard to crack the textured surface, the end result is robust and flexible. I know some people have had great success with caulk as the coating layer, which I think provides a greater level of flex, but as I’m not intending to roll these pieces up the paint is proving sufficient.

I used a relatively limited pallet for the field colours, focusing on a wheatfield or recently-cropped look. I decided to edge the fields in green to match and blend in better with the terrain boards.

I am also making some field edges – mostly strips and corners of rough hedges and trees – to put around some of the fields. Keeping them separate makes for easier storage, as the fields can simply be stacked together.

I had been considering making some terrain boards with 6mm fields painted on, but these place-down fields have given me a more flexible (haha) solution. I aim to get these on the table for the next Rhine War battle in the coming weeks.

Seven Years War Austrians

I’ve had a short break from the War of 1855 campaign – it’s been a bit hot and I’ve been a bit busy. However, the terrain from the last game was still on the table and I thought it might look good for some pics of another army.

These are some of my Austrian SYW (and WAS of course) 6mm army. I’ve deployed 20 battalions of regulars and 4 of Grenzers, plus 3 batteries of artillery and commanders. This represents half the target size for the army, which is about 70% done. There’s also the cavalry, which I didn’t set out, of which I’ve done 20 of the intended 32 units.

It’s been a few years in the making, but it’s getting there. The Prussians have recently overtaken them in terms of completed numbers, so I’ll aim to post some pics of them sometime.

First Ever ACW

A mate and I have been talking about a 15mm ACW project for quite a while and, like you do, we finally took the plunge when Peter Pig had a sale last year.

The intention, when we finally get round to playing any games, is to have a couple of small, flexible, forces that we can use with both Sharp Practice and Osprey’s Rebels and Patriots. This means a starting point of about 50 infantry, a dozen or so cavalry and a couple of guns, plus some leaders.

Although my opponent intends to do both sides for himself in the long run (which I won’t be), we have initially chosen to do one side each. Union for me, Confederate for him. We’ve admired the 3-2-1 basing pioneered on Dalauppror’s blog but hadn’t quite brought ourselves to use it for any projects up to now. As these forces will generally be deployed in units of 6, 8 or 12, it finally seemed appropriate to give it a go. Cue the hunt for appropriate sized washers!

ACW is one of those periods where you can spend a lot of time trying to find the right paint colours (mentioning no names Andy). I got bored after a few internet searches and poring over google images of paintings, painted figures, painting guides, etc. Therefore Vallejo’s Prussian Blue and Pastel Blue will do for me. I haven’t exactly made a big start, but here is my initial sample unit:

As with every other project I have, there’s more to come…

Legion de Fleurie Grenadiers

Since starting them a mere 6 years ago, I have finally finished my Grenadier battalion for the (fictitious) Legion de Fleurie. Back in 2014 I painted the first half dozen figures and the mounted officer, but then my focus strayed to other projects. One of my goals for this year’s Ayton weekend was to get this unit, the first battalion in this scale and period I’ve painted myself in 6 years, ready for battle. Even though the event isn’t happening now, I wanted to get the unit done.

The figures are RSM Austrian Grenadiers, plus a couple of Minden/Fife & Drum standard bearers. The standards themselves were painted to order by Mark Allen (there you go Robbie!) and it’s great to finally see them on the table.

Mark Allen’s wonderful brushwork:

Very Small Scots Greys

My 6mm mid-19th century forces get expanded from time to time and I’m intending to add a British division (mixed infantry and cavalry) for variety, and to add a bit of colour. I recently made a start with a first unit.

These are the Scots Greys, in an approximation of their Crimean uniform. They’re actually Heroics & Ros Napoleonic French Imperial Guard Horse Grenadiers. About half the infantry I have planned happen to be Scots regiments, so there’ll be a bit of an unintended theme there.