Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Sudan: Royal Artillery (Limbered)

The Clear the Desk painting challenge continues, with first units for an intended Camel Corps Brigade, completed for Black Powder: Blood on the Nile.

These guys sat requiring construction, next to the undercoated Ja'liyin from the previous post for ages. The limber, crew, and horses are ZW54 and ZW55 from Newline's Zulu range, and the 9pdr guns and crew are from HaT's 8210 British Colonial Artillery.

Yes, I know the horse team is meant to be made up of six horses, which would look good, but doesn't scale well in BP, so there's two per team for this army.
As both sets were produced for the Zulu war, all the crew have had puggaree conversions, which is only just and proper, and why I think I procrastinated so long before completing them, but in the end the conversions only took about half an hour to do all twelve.

The limber came together with no hassles, with only some fiddlyness when mounting everything together, at once, with white glue and super glue, coz I'm impatient :). As ever the Newline metals prepped in about ten minutes. A commission painter prepped the guns so can't comment on them but from the box art diagram, them look fairly simple (3 pces: wheels, carriage, and barrel).

Its good to get a couple of core units for a brigade out the way (they can be used for any British brigade) and its on to the next thing I found, wrapped up in tissue paper, smushed up in a plastic bag, right at the back of the desk - a group of Sci Fi figures to finish a unit I started in 1995!

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Sudan: Ja'liyin Tribesmen

Halfway through the Clear the Desk painting challenge, for your viewing pleasure (not really eye candy, more eye broccoli), some Ja'liyin tribesmen for the Black Powder, Blood on the Nile supplement. These have been made up from multiple 20mm plastic sets as there aren't any of these tribesmen on the market - and have been undercoated and getting caught up in the curtains behind the desk occasionally, for well over a year.

The rank and file are the peltasts/light troops from HaT's 8044 Alexander's Light Infantry (in a previous life, they were actually peltasts painted by Chasseur) and the Numidians from HaT's 8020 Hannibal's Carthaginians - African Infantry set, with the shields shaved off.

The Emir on horseback and the standard bearer are also from HaT, 8249 El Cid Moorish Command, and one Emir on a donkey from Waterloo 1815's 011 Dervish Infantry.

The reference is from Col. Snooks' Go Strong in the Desert, Plate 23 on page 98 and contemporary coloured sketch on page 101. With many more plates from Michael Perry in the book, this is a must have reference for this period and I reckoned seeing how they made the effort to research the tribe, I'd make the effort to individually paint the 24 diamond patches and coloured bands onto the jibhas of these 20mm figures :)

Still, I reckon I know one sure fire thing to remedy the pressing hordes of Ansar, next to which these guys will take their place: some Limbered Royal Artillery from the same period.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Heavy Mechs: Ground Zero Games 15mm Sci Fi

Almost half way through the Clear the Desk painting challenge and in the next alcove over lurked these two bruisers, one in a fairly sad state of collapse after moving cities a few years back.

They're Manned Ambulatory Combat Unit (MACU), M98 Chargers, from the amazing Ground Zero Games 15mm Stargrunt range and they are excellent. I bought them years ago and am happy that they're finally done (although they may yet get tactical markings added once more 15mm are completed).

There are two weapon loadouts. V15-MEC01A with two forearm heavy cannons - 'Type A' and V15-MEC01B with a heavy multishot missile pod and one multibarrel super-gatling - 'Type B'. Heavily armed and armoured, I reckon these things would be first echelon AT/IS and indirect fire close support for troops on the table.

They come in many parts and require some care of thought in regards to pre-assembly posing, but are well designed and go together to enable an astonishing range of poses, and make for an enjoyable build (I basically tried to work with gravity and built from the feet up, constructing the torso separately, so as to work the pose on the centre, pelvic mount before final assembly).

They'll take their place alongside the other completed 15mm forces and at a push, I reckon they could be used for 25mm as well.

So some pretty versatile mechs for the collection... but what's this I see coming? A cloud of dust on the Dervish desert horizon...?

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Warmaster: Empire Crossbowmen

Yes, Warmaster - fantasy at that.  Continuing on with the Clear the Desk painting challenge, I found a unit of undercoated Empire crossbowmen sitting at the back in one of the alcoves.

These figures and Warmaster itself are fantastic, although long OOP - but one can hope. The rules are now a 'living rulebook' and available for free online at Dark Press, and Rick Preistley has his own site, but more focused on ancients rather than fantasy.

You'll notice that there are three units finished, even though I only found one in the desk. Well, it turns out I forgot how many figures made up a unit and painted half in blue dominant scheme and the other red dominant. Then counted. Then went - "oh dear" (I didn't really, but the expletives used do not bear repeating).

So then I went on the hunt for another blister, found one, got confused as to how many I had, then had a panic, then found another unit I'd bought painted from the interweb, amongst the finished Empire stuff.

Greatly relieved that I could still field 3000 points when I finish  the rest of the army (its only been 17 years!), to go with the finished Tomb King army, I realised that the painted one looked a little dull compared to the new units, and touched it up.

Had an 'OMG! These guys are so cool!' moment when I uploaded the pics. So cool... so single... :)

So, that's one alcove of the painting desk completely cleared of prepped figures and now the home for glues. On to the next alcove and I see two 15mm armoured behemoths from GZG undercoated, washed, and drybrushed - and I ask myself why didn't I just finish those megaliths of death at the time?

Monday, 9 October 2017

United States Colonial Marine Corps: Sci Fi Mid-Tech

"We're on an express elevator to hell, going down! Hoo ha!"
Thought I'd post these guys up after the GZG post, they're very old Denizen 25mm Mid-Tech from way back when.

White squad, after a quick touch up from nineties colour scheme below..
You can still get them today BTW from the Denizen website. They are excellent figures.

Yello squad, Hicks as sqaud leader - hoo ha!
These guys have some history, I must have purchased them in the 90s and was going through 'a phase', so they originally started out life painted as 'blue team', but so many people went "ah, um..." when they saw them, expecting marines colours, that in 2015 I repainted them all warry-like.

My original colour scheme from the nineties.

Red squad with no other than Vasquez on the squad support weapon.
I see from the pictures that some of the blue is still showing through so will remedy that before someone writes a decent set of &^%*&^% sci fi rules... and I have a game with them...

Commanders, hopefully my EEO Lt. will be better than Goreman.
Funnily enough when I watched Aliens to get the colour scheme rightish in 2015 (for like the millionth time), it was the first time I noticed the almost tiger-stripes DPM/camo on their trousers and more general tan/brown/green DP on the armour. Thought I'd give the armour DP a miss as possibly would be too disruptive at this scale - may revisit that decision!

Legion of The Jungle Night: Sci Fi Mid-Tech

"The moon is a drop in a black hole, The sun is a hell of a light..." - Yello
... and now for something completely different... Having had  enough of all that white strapping to build the AWI Americans, British, and Hesse-Cassel for the time being, I felt the need to get all 'warry' as my sergeant used to say.

Yello Squad, patches on right arm denote squads to avoid confusion during games
The random mess of half-prepped or waiting-to-be-painted-figures on my painting table had begun to do my head in, so have given myself a Clear The Desk painting challenge.

Blue Squad, five HAMF legionaires
This included some of Ground Zero Games fantastic Federal Stats Europa (FSE) 25mm infantry from the Stargrunt range. I'm not sure what codes I've got but they sure look suitably menacing and mean.

Red Squad, rear armour also has red highlight for ease of identification in battle (far left)
I started off trying for a black theme but once the clothing was done, the armour screamed for a DPM (Disruptive Pattern Material) theme. Its not the best but I went for a kind of dark jungle disruptive pattern, as messy disruption patterns seem to be all the rage in today's military fashions.

"The birds of paradise, Disappear into the green desert, You will not find excess in the jungle..." - Yello

Legion Command
These will take their place alongside my Denizen mid-tech... which I just realised I don't have any photos up on this blog. Will remedy - Edit: They can be seen here.

Right, one alcove of my painting desk is almost done, I can't believe what's coming up next and how long its been waiting to be painted.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

AWI: British Command and Completed British Brigade

Finally, enough troops painted up to host a game of Black Powder: Rebellion! Roughly 12 units a side - still counting small units as 'half', after almost a year since the Hesse-Cassel Brigade was finished, and just enough for two brigades and a command reserve.

So with the 17th Light Dragoons and Artillerymen completed this week, the British commands are also now done-idly-un. So lets start with no other than General Howe himself - How do you do, indeed? Aha hahahaha. (Figures look a little shiny as its been too wet to spray varnish for the last few days.)

More B and B Miniatures for this high command stand, AR21 British Staff Mounted - with heaps of character. One of the figures looked like General Howe (probably intentionally) so, I mean, you just gotta, eh? Which moves us to the first brigade command.

These are the equivalent command figures as the American command painted last week but this time from the IMEX 512 British Redcoats set. Similar reservations as the American figures painted last week - comments can be found in that post - but same good results.

Here's a few shots of the finished British Brigade ready for a game of Black Powder: Rebellion!

Nice stream of Brits rushing forwards in brigade.

Not quite a sea of red yet as the other brigade is Hessian, but definitely on its way.

Which brings me to the next thing to do.

Yes, there's still four brigades to do, for each side for the AWI, but the white smallclothes and plethora of white strapping, plumes, and buttons has done my head in after a year of painting. Time for a change and here's what's on my painting list at present:
  • the mess of figures that have been in the nooks and crannys of my painting desk for over two years
  • finishing a 20mm US WII American mechanised and tank platoon, started in 2007 (yes, 2007 - its not a typo), which I forgot to take to the bring and buy a couple of weeks back. Its painted but awaiting stowage conversions... and painting new infantry, since I sold my very old Matchbox mech platoon at the same bring and buy - I've got the figures, the stowage, the Vallejo paints and a copy of Bolt Action and Crossfire - so what's stopping me?
  • start the recently acquired Perry's French Ordonannce army - the figures are beautiful - but they give me 'the fear'. I've never painted 28mm before, they'll need a better finish than 20mm, that's for sure.
... or maybe another British AWI brigade and some French... :)

Friday, 6 October 2017

AWI: 17th Light Dragoons: 2nd Squadron

Another one down. This time its the 17th Light Dragoons mounted and dismounted, to bolster the ranks of the now completed British brigade. Resplendent in their red coats, white facings, cuffs, and smallclothes.

The cavalry are from the Italeri 6044 British Light Cavalry Set and are superb figures, despite the inaccuracy's noted in the PSR review, and which inspired a better finish because the detail was there.

Painting chevrons in 20mm - OMG!

But this brings us to the dismounted troops and these are from the  B and B Miniatures  AR17 Light Dragoons Dismounted set. They are a very different style from the plastics and are essentially the same posed figure with different head and arm/musket positions.

Having had doubts before they were painted because of the style, I like them. You get 12 in a pack which is perfect for a small Black Powder unit of dismounted troops, and they are they only dismounted 17th dragoons of this period you can get in 20mm. So, good stuff BnB!

The guidon (flag) is a MS Word conversion from a Google search and am reasonably sure its the guidon for the second squadron, but that's pretty much it for getting a game together, just a couple of British command bases to go, which are already half finished, and its all ready.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

AWI: British Artillerymen

Was able to finish these guys off in between work. Finally some British cannoneers for the artillery painted months ago.

They're from the IMEX 554 American Artillery set and painted up well, to the standard for the time: blue coats, red facings and white lining/turnbacks. Several of the figures are sculpted in their waistcoats, which makes for some good variety.

There's good detail on these IMEX figures which made them enjoyable and easy to paint, including the correct metal water bottle - which still makes the IMEX American Artillery set better used for the Brits - see the previous American artillerymen post for 'box swap' details - but that really is splitting hairs at this scale.

Lancer Miniatures guns from 7YW range go well with these figures.

Some construction needed for the figure damping the barrel, whose arms and damper come separately. It was a bit fiddly and the shaft was a bit fragile, but after a couple of tries, the slots on the forearms seated in the armholes on the body, with the exercise bordering on the polite side of the use of expletives scale.

More Lancer Miniatures guns from 7YW range.

So with the American brigades finished a few weeks back, that's one more thing off the list. Only the 17th light dragoons to go and a couple of command bases - already prepped and ready - and the armies will be ready for a game of Black Powder: Rebellion!.