Whats on the Workbench 23 October 2014

2014-10-23 10.19.08Well I am just about going to scrape in with my objective of finishing a Hanoverian unit by the end of October! As you can see the officers are close to being finished – final highlights need to be applied. The only figure that needs painting now is the Drummer and I will then have my unit of 24 finished. The next stage is to base them and then finally the add the flags. Ah! the flags….

The problem here is that I cant find any reference to flags used by specific regiments of Hanoverian Troops at Waterloo, particularly the Landwehr units. Indeed, it is possible that they did not carry any into battle. But that wont do for a war games unit – my aim is to make a representation of the unit for the war games table and they look prettier carrying flags! As I have already stretched history by giving my unit the flat peaked caps, it wont hurt to use a bit of artistic licence when it comes to the flags, so I think that I am going down the route of using a conjectural Hanoverian Battalion flag and a Blue Kings Colour for the other ensign.

If there are any of the ‘fashion police’ or ‘button counters’ out there twitching at the liberties that I am taking with this unit, dont worry, I’m twitching with you! One of the dilemmas of historical wargaming is deciding whether you are trying to build an entirely accurate scale representation of the units involved in a particular battle or a general representation of the units that were around at that point in history. Of course, the further back in history you go, the more difficult it is to be sure of who wore what and when. Even the modern day infantryman appears to supplement his uniform by purchasing kit from ebay! It always amuses me that we are told exactly what style of armour/helmet/weapons various ancient tribes used when after a battle, the first thing that the winners did was loot the dead of their possessions.

You can just hear the conversation now. ‘Oi Ulrich, there’s no way you’re wearing that Saxon Helmet, you’re a Viking, so put it down, besides, you’ll make us look silly when Osprey come to take our picture…..’

It seems I digress, but you see the problem. Regardless, this weekends task is to finish painting the drummer, re highlight the officers and then get the whole lot based up and another Hanoverian unit can join my growing British Napoleonic Army!

Whats on the workbench 16th October

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Sometimes it’s difficult to fit painting miniatures around all the other jobs that need doing! The last week has been no exception. However, I have managed to finish the second pack of Neanderthals and I’ve also finished those Jaguars that were undercoated about three weeks ago. I’m happy with the Lucid Eye neanderthals. They are superb sculpts and that always makes it a pleasure to paint miniatures that have so much character. As regards the paint scheme, I used a variety of browns for the furs, from Vallejo of course! The colours were:

822 German Cam. Black brown, 872 chocolate, 984 Flat Brown, 871 Leather brown, 877 Gold Brown, 914 Green Ochre, 819 Iraqui sand, 918 Ivory plus white & off white. I painted the flesh using 804 beige red and flat flesh. I also used a few ink washes of various strengths , both strong tone brown & Vallejo black shade. The basing was straight forward. Just some Vallejo Sandy paste to level things up and then a coat of basing sand painted with Vallejo chocolate brown highlighted with Iraqi sand. To finish, just a few highland tufts!

2014-10-16 13.16.29The next project was the Jaguars. I’m not sure that I am happy with the finished result. Painting and highlighting black is a devilish business! I’ve tried using blue rather than grey or white and in the end it was a mixture of both but I haven’t got the effect that I was looking for. I also used white to paint on some whiskers & for the teeth but it all looks a bit stark. the standard of photography isn’t too good either!The yellow eyes have just about worked. I think that when they are properly based, with plenty off jungle cover they may look OK. So that’s it for this week. Next up, back to Hanoverians – the officers this time.

Whats on the Workbench 9th October – Neanderthals & Hanoverians!

2014-10-09 09.37.11A strange mix of subjects on my workbench at the moment! I’ve just about finished painting 18 rank & file Hanoverian Landwehr. As you can see from the picture, they’re all based and ready for the table. There are of course 6 figures missing – the officers, ensigns & sergeants. They are undercoated and ready to paint, so they should keep me busy for the next few painting sessions. I will then have a nice unit of 24 figures representing the Munden Landwehr battalion. As far as finishing the figures went, once I had painted them with Army painter Strong tone, I gave them 24 hours to dry and then sprayed them with Army painter Anti shine. I tend to use a light coat and if the figures are still a bit shiny in places then I use vallejo matt varnish, just brushed on, to finish off.

The next job is to go back over the lighter colours to make them stand out. So I repaint the white straps, yellow hat bands and any metallics. The bayonets get a coat of silver to make them stand out on the battlefield! It sounds like a long process but it doesn’t take too long. The idea is just to highlight these colours, so if you miss a bit then it just looks as though the area has been shaded.

Basing is then completed. Again, I have gone for a quick basing finish. The first task was to mount each 4 figures on a 40mm square renedra base. I then used Vallejo sandy paste to blend the figure bases into the renedra base to get an even surface. When this was dry, I painted this Vallejo chocolate brown to gice a dark base on which to work. I prefer a brown edge to my bases rather than green or black, which are also favoured by painters. Next up, I coated the bases in PVA and covered with a forest brown scatter. This in turn, had patches of Javis green scatter added and then I detailed the bases with smaller patches of Expo flowered field static grass. The final touch was to add some Noch summer grass tufts and of course my ‘trademark’ flowers – in this case, Noch white flower clumps.

In the picture you will also see that I have painted a female admirer waving the Hanoverians off to battle! It’s a bit of a nod to the Warlord box art and she will of course take her place in little Bingham, the town on my war games table. Without getting too commercial, all of the items that I use are available in the Arcane Scenery shop and if anyone out there reading this needs some help, call us and I will be happy to talk through the materials & techniques used.

2014-10-09 09.46.44The other project that has leap-frogged up the painting queue is pack two of the Lucid Eye Neanderthals. Arcane Scenery are now stocking the Lucid Eye Range and of course the Neanderthals go really well with some of the Ice Age DeeZee miniatures that we produce. The Mammoths, Cave Bears & Smilodons for starters! So I’m working on getting a little band of Neanderthals ready for a Hunting party. One is just about finished, except the basing, the other two are just awaiting the fur pelts to be highlighted & the detail picked out. The techinique that I have used for these is slightly different from my usual style. Rather than using ‘dip’ to shade, I am shading and highlighting using inks, dry brushing and mixing lighter & lighter shades of the base colours. It’s a bit more time consuming for me but gives a nice result, particularly when the figures are so well sculpted. Here’s the progress so far. I’ll spend a bit more time in my next blog detailing the colours used.

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The Lion Rampant!

I’ve managed to wean myself off of playing Black Powder for a few weeks! It can get a bit stale playing the same rules set, although I am addicted to Napoleonics for the time being. That said, I have wanted to build a collection of army’s and have been looking for inspiration elsewhere. I have been very tempted by the American War of Independence, as I like the look of the Muskets & Tomahawks rules but the thought of painting more redcoats doesn’t appeal whilst I’m still working on my Napoleonic army.

A recent rules set arrived in stock that did take my fancy and it would give me the opportunity to start another different army from a different period. The Rules set was ‘The Lion Rampant’, a medieval skirmish rules set. Skirmish games are a great way to get you into a period and allow you to play with just a few figures. The Lion Rampant is ideal in this respect as you need about 30 to 50 figures and you have a reasonable retinue with which to play the game. I think that with a box of Perry’s Foot Knights & Mounted Men at Arms I will be able to make a decent retinue. I’ll also have a look at the options from Fireforge games. Their figures have been tempting me for some time now!

So when I was invited to play a game at the local club, The White Hart Gamers, I jumped at the chance. As I thought, it was a straight forward rules set that allowed easy play, just right for a club night game. We played on a 4×4 foot table with 4 retinues all doing battle. It ended with all four leaders meeting their end in glorious combat! In fact we probably overplayed the game but by the end of the game, we were all familiar with the basic rules and enthusiastic enough to sign up for a campaign day in January next year. So I have another project to add to my list. In the meantime, if anyone out there is looking for a new game to play, I can very much recommend the Lion Rampant! Here’s a few pictures of our game.2014-09-11 19.26.57 2014-09-11 19.27.31 2014-09-11 19.28.50