Where did the month go?

The good news is that I haven’t lost my painting mojo, more a case of losing my blog writing mojo! I last wrote about my Lord of the Rings project but also mentioned that I had started a WW2 Cromwell tank. Well since then, I have completed the tank, I’ve also expanded my collection of Home guard weaponry with a Blacker Bombard and a Northover Projector. I’ve also painted two Medieval wagons for my WOTR project, added eight Kern to my WOTR skirmish contingent, played at least 3 games of Never Mind The Billhooks, spent a weekend gaming including a Crimean War Battle, a Zombie apocalypse and a Swiss Burgundian play test. Oh, and I have finally tracked down a Beaverette Armoured Car for my Home guard and that is on the paint station as I write.

Beaverette Armoured Car under construction!

In this blog, I’ll show you the Cromwell that I have completed.

The Cromwell is a 1/48th scale resin model from Blitzkrieg miniatures. I prefer the larger 1/48th scale models as I think that they look better with the modern ’28mm’ figures which although are nominally 1/56th scale, in reality they are not a scale at all but a size. I know that not everyone agrees but I find that the 1/56th scale tanks look too small against the figures, especially when the figures are based. I am using 28mm crew and as you can see, they look fine.

Cromwell with basic paint job

The painting process was straight forward enough. After washing the tank in hot soapy water, I primed it with Vallejo Matt black model air primer. I then used the airbrush to spray it with Mig Ammo British 1944-45 Olive drab MIG0112. I had a bit of a wobble over the colour. I started to get hung up on whether I was using the correct shade of green. In fact, the whole process of completing the tank was almost derailed by being side-tracked into trying to produce an IPMS competition standard replica rather than a representation of the tank that would look reasonable both on the gaming table and in my own display cabinet.

Inked, Dry Brushed, tracks and road wheels painted

Putting aside such pedantry, I got on with the model and having airbrushed the basic colour, I used Army painter dark tone ink to add shadows to the panel lines and around the rivets. I then gave the tank a couple of dry brushes using the original colour, highlighted with Iraqi Sand added to the green and then white to get the top lights. The road wheels were painted in black ( a mistake – I think that black grey would have been better) and then the tracks painted with gun metal. All the running gear was then heavily ‘muddied up’ with a mixture of browns daubed and dry brushed on. I also added some mud pigment to get a ‘crusty’ effect in places where I thought that the mud would accumulate.

Mud, markings and aerial added

I took pragmatic approach to the markings. I suppose I could have sent off for some decals but I used a fictional vehicle number on the turret and I hand painted the Squadron triangle symbol. The final touch was to add the aerial. I’ve painted this black because it looks black to me in the photographs but I do wonder whether it would have been the same colour as the tank.

My tank collection – Cromwell, Matilda II, Matilda I, Vickers Mk VIb

So another tank is added to my collection. It wont win any prizes at competitons but then it isn’t going to be entered into any! The important thing for me is that it looks like a Cromwell! On to the next model!

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

You can see the Blitzkrieg range of both 1/48th and 1/56th scale tanks here:

BLITZKRIEG MODELS

You can see our range of MIG ammo paints and accessories here:

MIG AMMO

we carry a huge range of Vallejo paint and accessories here:

VALLEJO

We carry a full range of Evergreen Plastic – ideal for modelling and converting:

EVERGREEN PLASTIC

If you haven’t got a piece of wire….the 50mm spears are here!

50MM SPEARS

If you prefer proper brass rod or tube, we carry a huge range of Albion Alloy metals here:

ALBION ALLOYS

Happy Modelling!

Workbench update 06 May 2021

Having completed the Landsknechts, I was at a bit of a loss as to what to start as my next project. I took the easy option and resorted to my Lord of the Rings collection moving onto the next issue of the Magazine ‘Battle Games in Middle Earth’. Somewhere back in April, I found the time to complete Legolas, the figure that came with issue 8. As I was absorbed in my Bombard project, I neglected to take any photos other than the one below of the finished figure, before basing was completed.

Legolas, basing still to complete

The next issue of ‘Battlegames in Middle Earth’, issue 9, came with an Uruk-Hai Scout. Issue 10 came with another sprue of 10 Uruk-Hai Warriors, so it made sense to paint all 11 figures as one batch. I cleaned up and assembled the figures and then primed them with a black undercoat. I then dry brushed them with gun metal to pick out the armour, painted the flesh using Vallejo Game Colour Dark Flesh and then the various straps and leather ‘kilts’ in either Leather brown or flat earth. The hair and spear staffs were painted in German Cam. Black brown. I then inked the armour with Dark tone and the rest of the colours with strong tone.

Uruk-Hai in progress as a batch paint job.

I went back over the colours and highlighted them using a lighter shade or simply the original colour, tidying up any obvious errors. I added the teeth and eye’s to the scout captain and based the figures with Vallejo textured paste and sand. The bases were painted with my usual emulsion paint ‘Delhi Bazaar’, and highlighted with progressive mixes of this mixed with Iraqi sand. The final touch was the Gamers Grass beige tufts.

Uruk-Hai based and ready for action!

So another 11 LOTR figures are added to my collection – next up is Boromir. Just 81 magazines to go to complete the collection!

Cromwell basic colours applied – weathering and markings to add.

As well as the Uruk-Hai, I also have been working on a Blitzkrieg miniatures Cromwell tank. Here’s the progress so far. I’ll perhaps cover the stages of this project in my next blog. I now have four British tanks in my collection and I am quite pleased with the results. I have taken the view that these are going to be used as wargaming models which has liberated me from being too picky about the details. The result is that instead of getting bogged down and never finishing anything, I am making progress. The result should be a nice collection to go in the cabinet that shows off British tank development in World War Two – and of course, should I ever get around to it, I will have a nice selection for my war gaming!

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

The magazines that I am referring to are long out of print but still available on ebay should you wish to collect them.

If you need help in completing a project of your own we have a massive range of stock in the Arcane Scenery shop. Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

You can see the Blitzkrieg range of both 1/48th and 1/56th scale tanks here:

BLITZKRIEG MODELS

You can see our selection of Gamers grass here:

GAMERS GRASS – ARCANE Scenery and Models

Happy Modelling!

Landsknechts!

Wargames Illustrated issue 383, September 2019, came with a free sprue of Landsknechts. At the time, I had a quick look at the figures, decided that it was unlikely that I would ever paint them and they were tossed onto my ‘leadpile’. Fast forward to April 2021 and I was looking for my next batch of figures to paint and I ‘rediscovered’ them. As you will know, I am currently working on my War of the Roses army and although these these troops were not really around at the time, I thought I might get away with using them!.

WI issue 383 with free Landsknechts

The nearest that I could get to Landsknechts appearing in England were the German and Swiss mercenary force under the command of Martin Schwartz, who fought at the battle of Stokes Field in 1487. According the the Wikipedia article, the German mercenaries were equipped with the latest handguns. By chance, my sprue of six Landsknechts were missile troops with the option of either hand guns or cross bows. That was good enough for me, I would complete the troops as a group Handgunner skirmishers and they could make a colourful, albeit, unlikely addition to my War Of The Roses collection and ‘Never Mind The Bill Hooks’ Army.

Close up of the sprues

I cleaned the figures up, assembled and primed them and then thought about how I would go about painting them. I am definitely getting lazy in my old age, when it comes to research. In the past I would have looked at countless references and articles to get an idea as to how to paint these troops. As it was, I used an earlier guide to painting Landsknechts in War Games Illustrated 129, written by Michael Perry. I also checked out a you tube video by Pete the wargamer and of course, used the painted figures on the Warlord site as my references.

Landsknecht Hand gunner number 1

Initially, I started with one of the simpler figures to paint and went for a straight forward red black and white scheme. Based on this test figure, I decided that a batch paint job was never going to work. Although I intended to keep things simple, even where the figures shared the same colour – on the guns, shoes, belts, sword scabards etc, the complexity of the colours on the rest of the figure made it difficult to paint these areas as a batch. So apart from the flesh, each figure was painted separately.

The next five primes and flesh blocked in

As I painted each figure, I became a little more adventurous with the colours. As always, yellow is a very difficult colour to paint as it just doesn’t cover well. I had the same problem with orange. In fairness, I think that my priming coat of grey was not such a good idea. White would have worked better. Still it was good fun in choosing the colour combinations. I particularly liked the purple and orange. I can’t remember the last time that I used either of these colours on wargames figures!

The next two under way

I was able to base the group as a batch and followed my usual basing procedure using Vallejo Dark Earth textured paste to blend the figures onto the base, added some ballast and then painted and highlighted with brown emulsion and Iraqi sand. I finished the basing with some woodland scenics coarse scatter and some gamers grass tufts. I couldn’t resist adding a few flowers to the bases – as if the figures weren’t bright enough!

Almost co0mplete – basing in progress

I have no doubt that when these figures appear on the table that my gaming buddies will take great delight in targeting them and they will no doubt finish the game looking like the German mercenaries at Stokes Field. To quote Jean Molinet, historian to the Burgundian court, writing c1490

“…when it came to the joining in battle (they) could not withstand the shooting of the English archers, especially the Germans, who were only half-armed; and although they displayed great bravery, as much, indeed, as their small number and substance allowed, they were routed and defeated, shot through and full of arrows like hedgehogs.”

Completed Landsknechts

I dont think that I will be painting any more Landsknechts but that might change when Bill Hooks volume two is released. Both the Swiss and Burgundian armies will be covered, along with the Italian wars at the time, so I may yet be tempted!

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

Perry’s WOTR plastic range are here, including some nice army deals!

PERRY MINIATURES

You can see the range of Renedra Accessories here:

Renadra Scenic Accessories

You can find all the Vallejo Model colour paints here. If you don’t want to browse, just enter the paint number into the shop search bar;

VALLEJO PAINTS

Happy Modelling!

Basing the Bombard

In my last blog I had painted the crew and the actual bombard. It was now a question of basing the models so that they will be ready for battle. I had already planned to use a Sarrissa terrain tile for this purpose. The idea being that should I decide to add to the siege or gun line, the Sarissa tile system would enable this. I also thought that the thicker base would give the Bombard a bit of elevation in respect of my normal troops.

I usually use Milliput for making the ground works on my bases but I had a pack of airdrying Daz clay that I found in my scenery materials stash and I decided to give this a try. I’ve not used this material before for this purpose but I have seen it used in many tutorials and my gaming buddy, Peter Harris uses it to great effect and has created some fantastic effects with it. So without any hesitation or preparation, I slapped it onto the Terrain tile. I then pressed the Bombard into it, carefully making sure that I had lined it up along the centre of the base. The next step was to place the figures onto the base and to cut out ‘sabot’ cavities for the ones that I wanted to remove. I also pressed the Gabions and boards for the mantlet into place.

Base in progress – Daz clay ground work completed and stuck to the terrain tile!

So far so good…except that when the Daz dried, it pulled away from the tile and came free. The tile had also warped. This surprised me as I had thought that MDF was pretty warp resistant. I suspect that when using milliput on MDF, there is no problem because there is no shrinkage and of course, no water. Once the tile dried out, the warpage disappeared and I simply glued the now dry airclay terrain piece back onto the tile with PVA glue. Problem solved – for now. In future, I will prime the MDF first!

Base with Vallejo texture paste.

I had not glued the bombard into place, so it was easy to get on with the next stage of the ground work. I used Vallejo Dark Earth Texture paste to cover the clay to give the base some texture and to blend everything into place. I had also filled the gabions with sand using a big blob of PVA to hold the sand in place. As the texture paste was drying, I placed the cannon balls onto the base and also placed some renedra barrels to leave an indent. It was at this stage that I noticed that the bombard was not quite centrally aligned on the base…When I had glued the clay back on to the base, I had obviously not quite centred it. My inner OCD now chipped in and I started to think about re making it all. However, I decide that I could live with it being slightly off centre and it would be OK. Phew!

Is that gun off centre? It’s staying put now!!!

The next step was to start to paint the items that I would be adding to the base. I painted the cannon balls in grey rather than black. I’m not sure if guns of this size used granite ‘gun stones’ but I thought that it was likely that stone would be used rather than cast iron. As an aside, my Brother has an allotment on the Isle of Wight in the shadow of Carrisbroke Castle and he regularly finds small ‘Gun stones’ that were either quarried nearby or test fired from the Castle. The renedra barrels were painted using the same colours and methods as the woodwork on the bombard. I also added some sacks to the base. I have a stash of these that I have made from Milliput. Whenever, I have some spare milliput left over from a project, I use it to make these sacks. I’m too frugal to throw anything away and they are very simple and quick to make!

The model is taking shape – ground work done.

You can also see that I had painted the Textured earth paste using an emulsion paint, ‘Delhi Bazaar’, highlighted with Iraqi Sand. I’ve also started to add the first layer of vegetation, Woodland Scenics Blended green turf.

Static grass and tufts added
Sacks and Gunstones – I’m not sure that health and safety will approve…

Once the base was coated with the turf scatter, I added some Static grass. this gave me the chance to test my ‘Static King’ applicator from woodlands scenics that I had been given as a Christmas present. The results were OK, but it’s fair to say that I need more practice. I spent more time snagging my fingers with the rather fierce crocodile clip and giving myself a buzz of static than I did in getting the grass to stand up! The good news is that what hair I have, is now slightly straighter than before! The static grass added another layer of texture and I finished of the base with an assortment of tufts and a few flowers to add some interest.

Tools and Barrels

I also thought that it would be fun to add some arrows to the Gabions, to make it look as though the enemy were nearby. I made these from scratch using thin Evergreen plastic rod (30/000) and some scrap 10/000 plasticard for the flights. Finally, I added some weathering powders to the bottom of the mantlet and added some black weathering powder to the front of the gun to represent the powder and smoke that would have come from firing the gun.

The completed base

So my Bombard is now ready for the table. There are a couple more details that I will add. I have a bucket and open cask of water to add, as well as a sledge hammer and rammer on the work bench in the final stages of painting. Andy Callan has suggested that I christen the gun ‘Little John’, so Little John will be making his debut in a battle soon!

The Completed model, the the extra barrels and tools added

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

Perry’s WOTR plastic range are here, including some nice army deals!

PERRY MINIATURES

You can see the range of Renedra Accessories here:

Renadra Scenic Accessories

The Sarissa Terrain Tiles can be seen here:

TERRAIN TILES

You can find all the Vallejo Model colour paints here. If you don’t want to browse, just enter the paint number into the shop search bar;

VALLEJO PAINTS

Happy Modelling!

Bombard in Progress

I continue to add to my War of the Roses army and the latest project is a Medieval Bombard from Perry’s. It’s a big old beast at nearly 140mm long and so basing it was always going to be a challenge. I have decided to use one of the Sarissa terrain tiles for the purpose. Although it is a bit on the thick side, the irregular edge will help it blend in to the wargames table. I also have vague ideas of adding siege works to either side of the bombard at some stage in the future. The terrain tiles will work well, should I actually do this!

Planning the bombard layout view 1

I decided that I would paint the crew in Edward IV ‘s retinue colours. I thought that only a King would have the finances and resources to bring such a large piece to a battle or seige. Just to be clear, I haven’t done any specific research on this! I just fancied the colours and thought that having a ‘sun in splendor’ motif on the manlet would look cool! Oh! and the fact that I could probably paint the sigil free hand, given my painting abilities…

Planning the Bombard Layout view 2

The only reference picture that caught my eye was the art work for the Zvezda version of the bombard. I’m not sure how accurate this is but there were a few details that I thought that I would add to my model. The first thing that I noticed was that the bombard was mounted on an earth work slope rather than flat on the ground as most of the other models that I had seen. After much thought and debate with friends, I decided that I would go with a fairly flat piece of ground. The Bombard in the Zvezda model was clearly being used in seige work and I wanted my model to be used in a set piece battle. I did like the idea of adding some extra protection for the crew in the form of some Gabions. I also liked the idea of the ‘special tools’ used to load the guns and of course the sacks and barrels lying around so I had it mind to add these.

Cover Art for the Zvezda Bombard

I also noticed that the Mantlet has small wheels allowing the crew to push it forward to facilitate access to the gun barrel for cleaning and loading. So I would add some timbers for the mantlet to run on. The last consideration was whether to make the crew removeable to facilitate game play in Never Mind the Billhooks. The two guys pulling down the Mantlet would have to be fixed but I would make ‘sabot’ bases for the rest of the crew to allow them to be removed if casualties.

Crew painted and ready for basing
View of the painted mantlet

Andy Callan has come up with some instant rules for using the Bombard:

“Huge Bombards fire only straight ahead (no arc of fire) and only on alternate turns but both 5s and 6s are kills. 15 pts inc. crew. Only 3 crew count towards firing dice.”

I think that this early version may be altered to take into account the protection that the crew have and that although only three crew count for dice, there are more to absorb wounds!

Bombard and Crew painted
Top down view of Bombard and crew before basing

As regards the painting details, the crew were painted in my usual style but I have used Army painter inks rather than the quick shade that I sometime resort to. As regards the Gun and wooden block work, I followed a ‘recipe’ that I have used before for siege engines. You can find the detail in another of my blog articles here:

https://arcanesceneryandmodels.co.uk/trebuchet/

The pictures through out this article show my progress so far. I hope that over the Easter break I will have this model finished and I’ll publish a follow up with a bit more information on how I went about making and painting the base and accessories.

Get ready to fire!

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

Perry’s WOTR plastic range are here, including some nice army deals!

PERRY MINIATURES

You can find all the Vallejo Model colour paints here. If you don’t want to browse, just enter the paint number into the shop search bar;

VALLEJO PAINTS

Happy Modelling!

Battle Games in Middle Earth Issue 7 – Lord of the Rings

In between painting and expanding my Historical collection, I have continued to paint the miniatures that I had stashed away with this magazine. I have now completed issue 7 and the 12 warriors of Rohan that came with the magazine. As I have said before, the magazine has painting instructions for the models and I use these as a guide but put my own spin when it comes to colours.

Battle Games in Middle Earth issue 7

The models come in a sprue of 12 comprising of 4 bowmen, 4 spearmen and 4 swordsmen. It made sense to paint them in batches of four. This also made it easier to add a bit of variation in the clothes. So for the clothing under the armour,  I used pastel blue for the bowmen, German Camo Beige for the Spearmen and Burnt red for the Swordsmen. Some of the figures were painted with plate mail, some with leather armour, as the mood took me! This gives a slightly non uniform feel to the figures as suggested by the painting guide in the magazine. The other reference that I used was of course the tutorials on youtube. I only these as a general guide rather than specifically copying on this occasion.

Warriors of Rohan Spearmen


Warriors of Rohan Bowmen


Warriors of Rohan Swordsmen

Another twelve models are added to my collection and the next issue is issue 8 with the model being Legolas. So just another 84 issues to go to complete the project. I suspect that I might be working on this for a while but it is a welcome distraction from Historical modelling.

Warriors of Rohan – the full unit.

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

The magazines that I am referring to are long out of print but still available on ebay should you wish to collect them.

If you need help in completing a project of your own we have a massive range of stock in the Arcane Scenery shop. Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

Happy Modelling!

When is an Army complete? More Bill Hooking!

My first objective was to build a small War of the Roses Army, with just enough units to play a game of Never Mind The Bill Hooks. Then I thought that it would be useful to have enough units to allow two people to play, just in case a guest arrived and fancied a game. Now I just keep adding bits and pieces because I can! The release of the limited edition ‘Lord Callan’ figure from Wargames Illustrated, prompted me to start work on a small retinue for him. A unit of Veteran Bills and Bows would look good and in WOTR, you cant have too many bows and bills! I also liked the Black and Red Livery that the real Andy Callan had chosen ( I suspect that there is a nod in the direction of a certain football team).

Lord Callans Veteran Archers

Lord Callans Veteran Archers

Lord Callans Archers with Livery badges added

Lord Callans Archers with Livery badges added

With the billmen completed (see my previous Blog ‘Lord Callans Retinue’ ) it was onto the archers. I had enough plastics to make 6 veteran archers. I would finish the unit by ordering a pack of metals from the Perry’s. I also wanted to add a livery badge to the archers as unlike the billmen, most of them were wearing tabards rather than brigandines or gambesons. I had intended to paint the badges but I was reminded that a decal would save a great deal of work. Veni Vidi Vici, who I have used before when building my Samurai army, make a really nice range of Decals and the 15mm scale just about work as Livery badges.

Organ Gun and crew under construction

Organ Gun and crew under construction

I also acquired a multibarrelled organ gun from none other than Andy Callan himself. When Andy isn’t writing rules or wargaming, he is scouring charity shops for bargains. He came across an Old GW Hell blaster volley gun. With a bit of filing and cutting, he created three organ guns and passed one on to me. So whilst not strictly historically accurate, it fills a role and adds to my artillery park. I used the last three Perry’s plastic figures that I had to make the crew. If you look carefully, you will see that I have used some spares from the Victrix British artillery set to equip them. Again, a bit of a stretch when it comes to historical accuracy but hey, I guess ramrods and buckets didn’t change too much over the centuries! Rather than paint them in Lord Callan’s Livery, I went for Burgundian colours. They then fit in with my hand gunners and crossbowmen skirmishers, expanding my mercenary contingent.

Crew and gun painted ready for basing

Crew and gun painted ready for basing

As you can see, I went for a rather colourful scheme for the gun itself. I have no historical basis for painting the wheels in such a bright scheme but I just fancied something different. Who’s to say a Burgundian gun captain wouldn’t think the same. There’s no way he is going to lose his gun in the artillery park!

Gun and crew now based - just the tufts to add.

Gun and crew now based – just the tufts to add.

So, will this complete my army? As ever, there are still yet more units that I would like to add. As well as sending for the extra bowmen, I added the Bombard. It’s a big gun but will look nice as a feature on the table. I have ambitions of creating a nice little diorama. And then there are the Irish that appeared at Stokes Field. Although I have some Dark Ages Irish Warriors that would do as Skirmishing Kern, it would be nice to add some of the Perry’s Irish to my collection. I also have a sprue of Landsknechts that came free with an edition of Wargames Illustrated. Although a bit late for WOTR, they would make a nice unit of Handgunners, so why not get them painted?

The organ gun completed and ready for action!

The organ gun completed and ready for action!

I’m also on the lookout for some ‘rough looking’ peasants to represent a few units of levy. There’s plenty to keep me busy over the next few months and that’s before I even start on scenery….

Lord Callans retinue takes it's place in my army.

Lord Callans retinue takes it’s place in my army.

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

Perry’s WOTR plastic range are here, including some nice army deals!

PERRY MINIATURES

You can find all the Vallejo Model colour paints here. If you don’t want to browse, just enter the paint number into the shop search bar;

VALLEJO PAINTS

Happy Modelling!

From WOTR to LOTR and back…

Lord of The rings Battle Games in Middle Earth

Lord of The rings Battle Games in Middle Earth

In a previous blog, I mentioned that I ‘rediscovered’ my collection of Lord of the Rings Battle Magazines. These were published back in about 2001, I think, and each magazine came with a free sprue of plastic figures or a metal character figure. The magazine was published by Deagostini in close cooperation with Games Workshop. Incidentally, the editor was Graeme Davey who now runs the Grey for now Games Wargames company that produces the ‘Test of Honour’ game. Graeme is now based in the same building as Arcane Scenery!

goblins from the mines of Moria. Issue 1

goblins from the mines of Moria. Issue 1

When I started collecting the magazine, I firmly intended to paint all of the models each fortnight to build my collection. I didn’t manage any until about issue 68, when I painted the Warg riders and then a few of the personality figures. I collected the complete set of 91 issues as well as a couple of specials and then stored them all safely away in my wardrobe, with the figures, never to see the light of day – until now!

Elves and Men of Gondor. Issue 2

Elves and Men of Gondor. Issue 2

Having found the stash, I thought that I would work my way through each magazine and paint the figures as originally intended. At this stage I dont have any plans to play the game but who knows – that may well change once we are out of lock down! In the meantime, it has been an interesting distraction. As well as following the painting instrucions in the magazine, I have also used YouTube as a reference to see how other painters have gone about painting their minis. There is a wealth of info on YouTube, as no doubt you are already aware and I now will often check this source before embarking on any new project. You can pretty much guarantee that somebody has painted or built what ever model you are working on!

Frodo Baggins - issue 3

Frodo Baggins – issue 3

I was also surprised how useful it was to be taken through, step by step, how to paint a figure. The magazine is very good at starting with the basics and building up techniques so that your painting style will improve and evolve. Looking back, I now realise that there is much to admire in this magazine, other than the pictures from the movies and the models!

Uruk-Hai - issue 4

Uruk-Hai – issue 4

The magazine breaks down into four broad areas, A guide to Middle Earth,  How to play the LOTR battle Game, complete with a battle report, How to paint your miniatures and how to make the scenery. Having started with the figures, I think that I may well go back and work through the scenery articles!

Lurtz - Uruk-Hai Captain. Issue 5

Lurtz – Uruk-Hai Captain. Issue 5

I have now reached issue 6 with my painting, as you can see from the photos, my collection is building! I’ll be taking a break from painting LOTR and returning to WOTR – I have a unit of Archers that I need to complete and some more artillery. These units will complete Lord Callan’s retinue and will feature in a later blog!

Aragorn! Issue 6. Basing not quite finished!

Aragorn! Issue 6. Basing not quite finished!

It seems that the lockdown has allowed me to work on projects that I had long forgotten and if my wargaming has been curtailed, my painting has thrived. Without the pressure to produce another unit for our next game, I have been able to dig into my lead pile and paint some of the miniatures that I had dreamed of adding to my collection.

My LOTR collection in front of my WOTR collection!

My LOTR collection in front of my WOTR collection!

It might seem strange for a retailer to be giving this advice, but rather than buy more stuff, what have you got in your lead pile that you would like to complete? I don’t think that there will be a better time to do so!

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

The magazines that I am referring to are long out of print but still available on ebay should you wish to collect them.

If you need help in completing a project of your own we have a massive range of stock in the Arcane Scenery shop. Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

Happy Modelling!

Happy New Year!

There’s lots about 2020 that I would rather not remember but happily, once again, my hobby has provided a welcome distraction and refuge from some of the more challenging times. I suspect that 2021 will be much the same as 2020, certainly for the first part of the year. Which means that I will have plenty of time for more modelling!

The year started off with two threads to my hobby. Finishing some of my Napoleonic figures and getting ready for the launch of ‘Nevermind the Bill Hooks’ and expanding my War of the Roses Army.

Royal Scots Command

Royal Scots Command

The Royal Scots 3/1 Battalion was completed to finish off Pictons division at Waterloo and I also had a go at the Perry’s vignette, ‘A Hard Contest’.

A Hard Contest

For some reason, I also felt the need to add yet another model of Wellington to my collection!

Wellington and Wellington and Picton

Wellington and Wellington and Picton

Meanwhile, my WOTR army was growing quite quickly, with the addition of two units of light cavalry, some artillery and some personality figures I thought that I had completed the army.

The completed unit of light Cavalry

The completed unit of light Cavalry

The Artillery section of my army.

The Artillery section of my army.

Salisbury, Richard of York and Warwick

Salisbury, Richard of York and Warwick

With the various lockdowns in place, my gaming time was much reduced. I think that I managed just four ‘Bill Hooks’ games and a couple of Napoleonic ‘Black Powder’ games this year. This led me to be less focused on gaming, more so on the modelling and painting side of the hobby. I started by painting the Dad’s Army set that I had had tucked away in the lead pile for some time.

Dads Army on Display Base

Dads Army on Display Base

This in turn encouraged me to paint a small BEF force. I have no idea if I will ever use them, I just fancied painting them.

BEF section in their 'movement tray'.

BEF section in their ‘movement tray’.

I have actually painted a full platoon of BEF, as well as the support weapons and a couple of tanks.

Matilda Mk1 and Vickers MkVIb

Matilda Mk1 and Vickers MkVIb

I also managed to be distracted into building and painting a couple of model ships:

HMS VIctory and Mary Rose

HMS Victory and Mary Rose

and at last finished a 1/48th scale V1 flying Bomb.

Tamiya 1/48th Scale V1

Tamiya 1/48th Scale V1

The launch of ‘Never mind the Bill Hooks’ rules set, written by my good friend Andy Callan, brought me back to the Wars of the Roses and as well as adding a few more figures to my army, I also produced some scenery to go with the rules.

Hidden Ditch!

Hidden Ditch!

Wagon and Arrow barrow completed!

Wagon and Arrow barrow completed!

New gaming pieces fr NMTBH's

New gaming pieces for NMTBH’s.

Lord Callan with the first of his retinue.

Lord Callan with the first of his retinue.

I was distracted, yet again, by a conversation with Andy regarding producing a Fantasy version of Never mind the Bill Hooks – Never mind the Balrogs! This planted a seed in my mind and I find myself finishing the year painting Lord of The Rings Figures!

goblins!

goblins!

High Elves and Men of Gondor

High Elves and Men of Gondor

Although I haven’t covered everything that I have produced this year, I am pleased with my output. My general plan for next year is to produce a bit more scenery for my collection and to build a few more models rather than churning out more units. I may even get some more tanks added to the collection!

Matilda and Maus, undercoated and ready for finishing!

Matilda and Maus, undercoated and ready for finishing!

In the meantime, I would like to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year and of course Happy Modelling!

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

Should you wish to see more details of the projects above, just click into my blog using the link at the top of the page or just explore a section using the category headers down the side bar. You can also follow my activities in the hobby by  ‘liking’ the Arcane Scenery facebook page. As well as updates on my various projects, you will find information and news of new releases and products as well as our ‘On this day in History’ feature.

If you need help in completing a project of your own we have a massive range of stock in the Arcane Scenery shop. Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

Happy Modelling!

Lord Callan’s Retinue

A blog is a great tool for keeping me motivated and recording  my various hobby projects. It can be a bit of a double edged sword. Two weeks after my last ‘Workbench update’ and I have very little progress to record!

Lord Callan's Retinue

Lord Callan’s Retinue – first three figures

My main focus has been to start on Lord Callan’s retinue. I did have the retinue assembled and they are now primed and painting has started.

Before I write any more of this blog,  I must acknowledge the influence of a certain ‘Captain Blood’, AKA Richard Lloyd. You can see most of Richards work over on the Lead Adventure Forum and I provide a link below. Richard combines some very clever conversion and modelling work with superb brush work and a choice of colour and livery that is simply sublime. Add to the clever way he has blended actual historical retinues to some of his own and it’s fair to say that he has produced the best units that I have seen. Oh and his basing work is pretty damned good as well.

Lord Callan with the first of his retinue.

Lord Callan with the first of his retinue.

So having painted the ‘Lord Callan’ model from the Wargames Illustrated Giants in Miniature collection, I thought that I would give him a small retinue of Bills and Bows to lead into battle. Having seen the way Richard has produced his units, I have done my best to take some of his ideas to give Lord Callan’s units a slightly different feel from the rest of my army.

The next three figures on the bench!

The next three figures on the bench!

Lord Callan’s Colours are black on red and his main Coat of Arms being a white lion over a golden wheatsheaf. In case anyone is interested in the provenance of this Livery, it is based on the two best pubs in Bingham, The White Lion and the Wheatsheaf! I decided that I would give Lord Callan the White Lion as his main Sigil and just use the Wheat sheaf on the Banner when I get to it.

Rear view of the W.I P.

Rear view of the W.I P.

The three figures above are very much a work in progress with their faces and bases still needing to be finished! You can see that I have stolen some of Richard’s ideas, with the pole of the halberd in House colours and the helmet and buckler also painted. I’ve also done quite a bit of swapping of heads and arms from the various Perry sets to get a ‘Veteran’ look to the unit, allowing me to claim an upgrade in the Bill Hooks game.

More of the retinue in progress

More of the retinue in progress

And the final three makes twelve!

And the final three makes twelve!

Once the Billmen are completed, the plan is to add a unit of Veteran archers and at least one more banner man to stand along side Lord Callan, although I may use the horn blower below…

The next batch on the work bench

The next batch on the work bench

As you can see, I also have some other distractions that I am working on. The sharp eyed reader may have spotted three genestealers….

Gene Stealers!

Gene Stealers!

They wont be making the retinue! I found them half completed in the loft when getting down the Christmas decorations, so decided to finish them ready for the next time we play Space Hulk….but that’s another entirely different subject!

If you would like to have a look at Captain Bloods original work on the Lead Adventure forum, here’s the Link:

CAPTAIN BLOODS LEAD ADVENTURE FORUM THREAD

If you are not on the Nevermind the Bill Hooks face book page you can see some very inspiring work here as well:

NEVER MIND THE BILLHOOKS FACEBOOK PAGE

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available POST FREE at the time of writing, from my shop. The Links will open in another tab on your device.

ARCANE SCENERY

Perry’s WOTR plastic range are here, including some nice army deals!

PERRY MINIATURES

You can see our Woodlands scenics range, including water effects, here:

WOODLAND SCENICS

Gamers grass tufts can be found here:

GAMERS GRASS

Vallejo plastic filler and Milliput is available here:

FILLERS

MDF bases can be found here:

MDF BASES

You can find all the Vallejo Model colour paints here. If you don’t want to browse, just enter the paint number into the shop search bar;

VALLEJO PAINTS

The full Sarissa range can be found here.

SARISSA PRECISION

 

Happy Modelling!

Workbench Update 24 November 2020

I continue with my steady output of models during lockdown. Over the last fortnight or so, I have been working on a number of projects, none of them particularly connected to each other.

Whilst discussing how I might adapt the ‘Never Mind the Bill Hooks’ rules for use in a fantasy setting, I decided to dig out my Lord of The Rings Magazine collection. These were published weekly by Deagostini in conjunction with Games Workshop and each magazine came with a free sprue of plastic figures or a free metal miniature from the GW LOTR range.

goblins!

goblins!

After 20 or so years of these being hidden away in my wardrobe, I decided to paint the figures that came with the first magazine, 12 Goblins of Moria. It was a nice break from my usual subjects and using only the magazine as a painting guide, I soon had them finished. Quite what I will do with them is another matter. For now, they are in my figure cabinet and issue 2, complete with a set of Elves and Men of Gondor is ready for me to paint, should I have the urge!

Bren Team and commander

Bren Team and commander

I had also ordered some more units for my BEF force. I really liked the look of the new releases from Curteys 1st Corp and ordered myself a bren team, Officer set and a Matilda mark 1. The models are lovely and extremely well sculpted and produced. I was particularly impressed with the quality of the Matilda 1. The bren team and officer were painted up in a batch using the technique I have covered in my previous blogs. I left a link below if you would like more information.

Matilda Mk 1 and tank commanders

Matilda Mk 1 and tank commanders

As well as the bren team, I also painted three tank commanders, one for the Matilda and one two for future tanks!

Matilda Mk 1

Matilda Mk 1

As for the Matilda, I am still in the process of finishing this model. I just need to add the markings and a flag for the aerial and touch up a few details.  I have decided to use a slightly different colour scheme to my Vickers Mark IVb. Although the dark green on the Vickers tank matched the references that I have, The pictures that I have for the Matilda show a lighter green in the camouflage, so I went with this. I suspect purists will recoil at the mis match but I know that one of the two will be about right! I am at the age now that I would rather get on and paint a model rather than spend endless hours researching and never actually get anything finished.

Matilda Mk1 and Vickers MkVIb

That said, I do find myself revisiting projects and re- touching or adding bits as I think of something else or find a new piece of information. A case in point is the Medieval Church that I have been working on.

Sarissa Church

Sarissa Church

Back of the Church

Back of the Church!

I have been working on this church on and off for some time now. There are still bits to do. I have plans to add a few graves and improve the ground work – I have asked Santa for a static Grass applicator. I also want to do something fancy for the windows. I have mounted it on the Sarissa terrain tiles – this will enable storage as I can remove the church from the tiles. I have grand plans of creating my own Medieval village and the tile system will let me ‘grow’ the village, building by building.

Winston Churchill goes to Church!

Winston Churchill goes to Church!

Lord Callans Merry Band!

Lord Callans Merry Band!

On my conveyor belt of things to do, is the next unit for ‘Never Mind The Billhooks’. I had half a box of Perry’s WOTR infantry left over and decided customise them to produce a mixed unit of Billmen as a unit for Lord Callans retinue. All being well, I’ll cover these in a separate blog in the future.

I’m keeping busy during the lockdown and I think that the key to avoid getting stale or losing interest in a project is to keep a bit of variety on the work bench! It might seem that I spend forever out in the garage but I tend to work in short bursts of no more than a hour or so. What has increased my output has been to do something every day. I hope that you are having as much fun!

If you would like to see a step by step guide to how I paint my British World War Two Infantry, click here:

PAINTING WW2 BRITISH INFANTRY

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available POST FREE at the time of writing, from my shop. The Links will open in another tab on your device.

ARCANE SCENERY

Perry’s WOTR plastic range are here, including some nice army deals!

PERRY MINIATURES

You can see our Woodlands scenics range, including water effects, here:

WOODLAND SCENICS

Gamers grass tufts can be found here:

GAMERS GRASS

Vallejo plastic filler and Milliput is available here:

FILLERS

MDF bases can be found here:

MDF BASES

You can find all the Vallejo Model colour paints here. If you don’t want to browse, just enter the paint number into the shop search bar;

VALLEJO PAINTS

The full Sarissa range can be found here.

SARISSA PRECISION

If you are struggling to find an item, use the shop search bar! For example, type Church to see all the churches that we carry….

CHURCH

Happy Modelling!

Making Medieval Tents!

This weeks blog is a bit different – it’s supposed to be a picture tutorial as to how I made my Medieval tents for my Never Mind The Bill Hooks army. The idea of the tents, is that you store your army morale tokens in them during the battle. This means that the tents have to have removable tops and I wanted something that was fairly durable. I came up with the idea of using Pringles tubes as the core of the tent but needed a way of making the tube look more tent like! Having done a bit of research on the internet, I found a plan for a full sized Medieval tent on Pinterest, complete with dimensions. When I scaled the dimensions down to 1/48th scale ( a bit on the large size but I can handle the maths easier than working with 1/56th!), it turned out that Pringles tubes were ideal for the job!

Plan for Knights Tents - Dimensions are for a full sized tent.

Plan for Knights Tents – Dimensions are for a full sized tent.

I also found a superb youtube video showing how to make Medieval tents for Dungeons and Dragons. The video link is at the end of this article. I was all set to go but first I need to gather the raw materials and tools. I jumped right in and built the first tent in about an hour but wasn’t entirely happy with the result, so I moved onto the second tent. This took a bit longer as I was more careful with the measurements and I made some improvements to the structure. If you would like to have a go at making you own tents, you will need the following tools and materials.

Glue Gun – you can just use PVA but a glue gun is ideal for most of the work here.

Cocktail sticks

Tissues ( kleenex type)

Cardboard or Foam card.

Compass or compass cutter

Sharp knife

Clippers.

Ruler and pencil.

Set Square if you want to be precise with your measuring ( I used the markings on my steel ruler as a guide.)

Step one

Get your Pringles, any flavour, although I like the plain and the sour cream and onions, and eat the contents.

Pringles tube! First task is to empty it!

Pringles tube! First task is to empty it!

You may need some lubrication to help with the Pringles. Beer seems to work well, my current favourite is Shipyard!

You may find that you get thirsty eating Pringles!

You may find that you get thirsty eating Pringles!

Cut the base of the Pringles tube off ( the end with the metal base.) using a sharp knife. It’s tricky getting a straight cut around a tube. I used a felt tip pen blu-tacked to my work board, exactly 5cms from the side and holding the tube firmly against the edge, rotated it so that the pen marked a guide line around the tube. I then cut through the tube using my scalpel. Dont worry if you dont get an exact straight edge to your cut, the top will hide any errors.

The first tube cut down.

The first tube cut down. The height of the cut is 5cms – you can make this smaller if you prefer.

The next task is to cut out two circles. One at 11 cms in diameter will be for the base of the tent – I used a compass cutter for this task on the second tent rather than a compass and scalpel that I used for the first tent. The other circle is the same width as your pringles tube – just draw around it. The tent base is made from cardboard. The top is foam card. You could use cardboard for the top but I wanted to give the top a bit of strength.

Circles cut out - note that I have marked out the centre and divided them into eight segments with pencil lines.

Circles cut out – note that I have marked out the centre and divided them into eight segments with pencil lines.

Next glue the pringles tin to the base, making sure that you have it centred as best as you can. Using the pencil marks as a guide, glue eight cocktail sticks to the base and tube as shown below.

Cocktail sticks added to form the structure

Cocktail sticks added to form the structure

I used my flush cutters to clip off the excess length of the cocktail stick. I then took the top disk of the tent and glued a cocktail stick through the exact centre. You need to leave about 5cms of this cocktail stick as the centre pole. Using my clippers. I then cut eight more cocktail sticks( at a slight angle on one end) and glued them to the centre pole at 3.75cms up the pole and again, used the eight pencil marks as a guide.

top of the tent in place

top of the tent in place – dont glue this – you need to be able to remove it!

The next part of the process is both the trickiest and the most messy! I used standard three ply kleenex tissues cut roughly to size and dipped in watered down PVA to clad the base of the tent. I left one section opened and used two pieces of tissue to make the open door.

Tissue covering the main structure - complete with tie backs on the 'door'!

Tissue covering the main structure – complete with tie backs on the ‘door’!

There’s no doubt that this is the trickiest part of the operation. I did find that it was easier to place the tissue on the structure and using a large brush, ‘paint on’ the PVA. With hind sight, I think that Crepe paper or perhaps kitchen towelling would have worked better as these products are stronger and less likely to rip when wet. Also, for some reason, I felt the need to explain to my wife why I was going out to the garage with a box of tissues, pringles and my iPad….

 

Tent with tissue added to the roof

Tent with tissue added to the roof.

The whole structure was left to dry for at least 24hours. I then spray primed the tents with Army Painter skeleton bone and dry brushed them with white.

The two tents primed and ready for painting.

The two tents primed and ready for painting.

The tent on the right was my first attempt. I’m not entirely happy with this one as I got into a bit of a mess with the tissue and I’ve used some filler to try to hide mistakes – if you look closely you will see that I haven’t been too successful! I only used six ‘poles’ for the structure rather than eight. I’ve also added a decorative edge to the top.

The painted tents

The painted tents

I then painted alternate segments of the tents – Prussian blue for one and Burnt red ( my new favourite colour) for the other.

The tops are removable so that you can store your army morale tokens:

Storage section revealed! Big enough to get your hand into pick out the tokens.

Storage section revealed! Big enough to get your hand into pick out the tokens.

The final touch was to add a bit of dry brushing to the colour panels and to add some flags. Here are the finished tents on my wargames table.

The finished tents.

The finished tents.

I’ll be honest, they do look better from a distance than close up. I have learnt a few lessons whilst building these and in the future, I may add a few more tents to my scenery – perhaps trying crepe paper rather than tissue. But for now, they serve their purpose and function as a place to store the army morale tokens. Talking of learning, here’s a couple of really useful videos.

The next video shows where I ‘borrowed’ the idea of using tissue to make the tents. There are some amazing ideas here and I will be stealing a few more of his tips to make some different style tents in the future. The guy who makes these videos has a whole series of fantastic terrain videos that are well worth your time if you enjoy building scenery.

I hope that you find the above helps. as usual, here’s the commercial bit, although I dont sell Pringles, Cocktail sticks or Tissues….

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available POST FREE from my shop here:

ARCANE SCENERY

To find PVA glue, click here:

GLUES AND ADHESIVES

Perry’s WOTR plastic range are here, including some nice army deals!

PERRY MINIATURES

You can see our Woodlands scenics range, including water effects, here:

WOODLAND SCENICS

Gamers grass tufts can be found here:

GAMERS GRASS

Vallejo plastic filler and Milliput is available here:

FILLERS

MDF bases can be found here:

MDF BASES

You can find all the Vallejo Model colour paints here. If you don’t want to browse, just enter the paint number into the shop search bar;

VALLEJO PAINTS

Happy Modelling!