Monday, 30 May 2016

Micro-KoW progress

Have added a bit more to the 10mm Kings of War army. Nearly at 1000 points, which is the minimum required for a decent game I think.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Minifigs Knight Hospitaller

one of those old Minifigs knights, dehorned, re-lanced and repainted. I wasn't too precious about the freehand- I think a certain quickness about the whole thing is better when painting in this simple style, or you risk it looking overcooked. Or perhaps i'm overthinking it, as is my wont! I have to say I think this horse is one of the finest sculpts I can think of - I love it!

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Turcopoles (or maybe Saracens) in the post

While daydreaming about yesterday's post, and the idea to do a 25mm shiny old school crusades army, I found myself browsing eBay. Before I had quite snapped out of my reverie the pictured regiment of lads fell into my basket an is now en route to me. The seller isn't sure if they're Essex or Hinchliffe, and I wouldn't presume to know better myself, but I love the look of them. They'll either be Turcopoles fighting as allies to my Milites Christi or they might do double duty as Saracens at some point. I'm looking forward to a nice bright colour scheme of pink, yellow and bright blue I think, with dark chestnut horses and white accents. Lovely stuff!

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Minifigs knights to strip and repaint

I'm hoping in the next week or so to get my 10mm KoW army finished to 1000 points. After that's done, I've an urge to start a new army in the usual Kings of War scale. I do have ideas for a Nightstalkers army of scratchbuilt weirdness, but I'm also feeling an itch to do something medieval that I can use in other systems too perhaps a Milites Christi army of Templars and Hospitallers and Kingdom of Jerusalem with Turcopole allies and whatnot. They'll be usable in KoW Historical, Saga C+C, Lion Rampant, Hail Caesar and just about anything else. Add in a pegasus or two, a griffin maybe and some other weirdness and then I can use it in KoW, Dragon Rampant, etc. as well .- One possibility is to build on the test mini from a few days ago and use mainly Fireforge plastics. This is not a bad idea- I have lots of Fireforge ready and waiting on the sprue, as well as bits of an old army that would be easily rebased and touched up. They're nice models and I know I can get them looking good reasonably quickly. However, I've a real hankering to expand the 'shiny retro toy soldier' look I've used for Frostgrave and skirmish stuff into a whole army, and the old 25mm Minifigs stuff (still mostly available from is just beautiful- to my eye at least. It's true 25mm scale though, quite a bit smaller than modern 28s, but as result it looks much better on the 'standard' wargaming base sizes: 20mm square for infantry and 25x50mm for cavalry. The Fireforge plastics require quite a bit of planning and nudging to sit happily on those sizes without tails being rammed against the muzzles of the next rank.

As it happens, I have a regiment of old minifigs Nevskiy knights bought cheaply that I can have a play with to see how they'll look before buying new ones. They'll need their horns snipping off so they look a little less Teutonic, and I'd like to replace those lances with wire ones- do lead lances ever look properly straight? First things first- into the Biostrip20 to get the paint off.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Fireforge Knight Hospitaller

Not sure if this is a one-off or a test mini for something bigger (Lion Rampant, Saga Crescent & Cross, KoW, or the imminent KoW Historical maybe?). I've been reading a little about the Knights Hospitaller and knocked one up quickly, represnting a brother knight from around the start of the 13thC. Love the Fireforge plastics.  

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

MicroKoW - Beast of War

One of the great things I'm finding about 10mm is how quickly individual things can be done. If I'm very disciplined and I know exactly what I'm doing I can get a 28mm regiment done in an evening, but more often the task will spread across two or three evenings. With 10mm, just about any unit you can think of can be thrown together in an hour or two. If it doesn't work, you haven't wasted much time, and as like as not you've wasted very little money also.

Today I took a tiny plastic dinosaur, chopped a lump out of his back, scratched off his mouldlines, glued a tiny wooden 'house' boardgame piece to his back as a sort of roofed howdah, added cardboard straps and a couple of tiny card shields, and then painted him up. Cost nothing, more or less, and is a pleasingly retro addition to my army. My heart is always warmed by the sight of a reappropriated toy dinosaur on a wargames table.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Review- MDF Wizard's Tower from Supreme Littleness

About a week and a half ago I ordered an MDF kit from Supreme Littleness, and it arrived today. The kit I ordered is the Wizard's Tower from the 10mm fantasy range. It arrived in a decently compact little package like this, in a jiffy bag. I only have two (very minor) complaints about the kit, and the first is the packaging. the MDF sheet is quite fragile and was very slightly broken in transit. Luckily it snapped through an area of 'spare' MDF, not through an actual part of the kit, but an extra piece of corrugated card in the envelope would have been welcome. Bonus points for the big Ziploc bag- those things are super useful!

The second (again, minor) complaint about the kit was the lack of instructions. I am a bear of little brain, and it took me a little while to figure out how things were supposed to go together, but once I'd cracked it it was pretty simple. Again, a quick line drawing packaged with the kit would have been appreciated for dimbos like me.

The quality of the cutting and the design are absolutely excellent- the pieces fit together beautifully. Part of the kit is supplied as laser cut card which I was initially sceptical about, but the design ensures that these areas are unlikely to risk being bent or buckled, and the texture is wonderfully stonelike, and drybrushes beautifully. The card parts are also much thinner, which mitigates the 'I'M MADE FROM MDF' look that so many MDF kits have. The construction is concealed in a way that I think hides the fact that it's made from MDF very well. 

I heartily recommend this kit, especially for the price of £5. I may well be taking a closer look at their castle in the future...

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Micro-KoW first units

Having been very busy this week I've only made a small dent in the pile of lovely tiny metal chaps that landed on my doormat his week. here are what I've painted up so far. They aren't particularly attractive up close, but they're not designed to be- They'll look best when there are lots of them , and are viewed at gaming distance. The sculpts are really great. Here are a regiment of spears (Kessian City guard in my army- their heraldry indicates them to be the third regiment of Kessian Houseguard, one rung below the King's personal bodyguard) and a mounted Wizard- who looks more than a little familiar. I've yet to name him, but some sort of reference to the fellow in grey seems in order. Stormcrow perhaps? The trebuchet is a plastic component from a Dungeons and Dragons boardgame- I bought 6 from a chap on eBay for £3 posted. The scale was advertised as 10mm, but I think it would do admirably for anywhere from 2mm to 6mm, and just strains believability a little at 10mm. Small field pieces of this size did exist in history, but I feel the wheels would be larger, if such a small piece had wheels at all. I'm considering adding a small abutting base with a couple of crew and ammunition on it.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

10mm Kings of War- board and scenery

Kings of War is probably my favourite wargame- it's certainly the one I play the most. I and a few friends are going to experiment with an idea lots of people have had over the years- converting KoW to a smaller scale. There are lots of reasons to do this: portability; cost; ease of doing really BIG battles. As KoW is element based, it's eminently suited to the idea.

We're going to scale everything down by a division of 2.54, which sounds arbitrary, but it means that inches become centimetres, and movement and range stats stay as they are with no mental arithmetic- you just have to remember to look at the other side of the tape measure!

I've ordered some miniatures (more of which when they arrive) but in the meantime I've knocked up a little set of terrain and scenery, and a board to put them on. The board is the scaled down equivalent of a standard 6'x4' table, so it's 72x48cm. I used 18mm MDF. The hills are 12mm MDF, which means a 'height 1' hill is near-as-dammit the same height as 'height 1' infantry. All were painted with a single £1.49 tester pot of Homebase 'Village Green' emulsion. Very happy with the shade.

I've gone for a clean and simple look- clarity is paramount at such a small scale, and it's a look I like.

The trees are scrunched paper towels, soaked in dilute PVA and stuck to 8mm dowels, mounted on pennies. The 'forest' floor is Efco green felt sheet. The river and lake are also Efco felt sheet- it's thick, lies flat and has an agreeably mottled colour.

The tower was made from an empty salt pot, part of a broken toy mirror and part of a biro lid. You can see I've sanded the salt pot prior to painting.

All in all a satisfactory set with minimal outlay of time, money or effort.

Now I just need an army...

Monday, 2 May 2016

Warhammer 40,000 Tyranids

 About once a year a friend and I get together for a day and play a game of Warhammer 40,000. We're still playing the last edition, and Chris is still playing an old codex for his Eldar, but there's no real need for us to keep up with GW's bewildering release schedule.

I've recently added some bits to my Tyranids. I love the Tyranids, and they're a joy to paint. Being entirely organic, you can roughly divide each model into 'sticky fleshy bits' and 'hard bony bits'. No rivets, no gun barrels, no bits and pieces dangling from belts- you can really bash through them quite quickly with the aid of drybrushing, washes and glazes.

The basic scheme here is achieved by priming the whole model with Citadel Zandri Dust spray, washing it with Reikland Fleshshade, drybrushing up through Ushabti Bone, Pallid Wych Flesh and white (Just Pallid Wych is sufficient on the hordes of unimportant smaller models) and then painting everything that isn't bony carapace with Tamiya Clear Red, which is a transparent red paint that dries with a wet look. Quick, effective, striking and disgusting!