Thursday, December 31, 2009


Today saw the completion of my first set of Cretan archers. The models are of Xyston make and purchased through Brookhurst. This first set is of 8 bases for those armies in FoG that allow up to 8 bases to be used. My MRR list allows for up to 6, but I'm keeping the bigger picture in mind. The next set I do will consist of 12 bases in a different color scheme.

These minis were a real joy to paint. Simple archers yes, but the smoothness of their design, plus an opportunity to play with hues of red, made them that much more enjoyable. I stepped outside my usual Foundry and Vallejo ranges to a nice craft paint called "barn red" in order to find the top color I wanted for their tunics. I painted the models out from the concept of that color; first with the darker undercoats and then with good contrasts in the straps and bags. My general thinking on the color scheme is that they were mercs so they can afford something snazzy, not too snazzy, but better than your average LF.

After painting these, I can't wait until I get to my Antigonid and Classical Indian lists made up mostly of Xyston models.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

15mm Numidian Review (pt 1)

Filling the time when my wife and kids are gone is usually an easy thing to do in this hobby. However, tonight I had paint and primer to watch dry and nothing in the ready stage to paint or put on the blog. My Cretan archers are watching their bases dry and the Roman command is freshly primed. Naturally its time for a completely unscientific, unbiased, and uncomplete...err incomplete (I was on a roll) review of two 15mm ranges of Numidian light horse.

Since I'm about to prime figures from Corvus Belli and WarModelling as possible allied additions to my MRRs they drew the wonka ticket in the comparison lottery. I'm not comparing these in hopes of a "these are better" result, but rather to serve as an information review for those of you looking for a particular look and have questions. I will be producing this without regards to any particular sequence or any real standard. (Note: The figures provided in this review from CB are from Pack 1 of the numidian light horse as by the time the wife approves my monthly allowance, everyplace is out of Pack 2. Things look promising at the Warstore and I hope luck holds till mid January.)

The first thing I always notice about miniatures is that which I have to tackle first and that's flash. In both cases, wow, holy flash. Either I've wronged the flash fates or flash has gotten worse over the last decade. Mold lines and flash were abundant in both cases. The mold lines on the CB's hair was a trick as filing it down interrupted the waves in the hair and took some exacto remodelling to get back.

Once I got the flash situation dealt with and the figures scrubbed I was ready to go ahead and take the size/proportion comparison photos which comprise the bulk of this review. The CB horses and riders are separate as are the shields. The WM figures have 2 molded together and 2 separate while in both cases shields are cast on the figures.

CB Horses

CB Riders

WM Horses

WM Riders

Horses Front and Aerial

As far as size goes you can see that the WM horses and riders are slightly taller than the CB counterparts. However CB produces a much more robust horse which is something I particularly like. At this point both lines have their merits and it will be a question of personal taste for each gamer deciding. For me the WM horse necks seem a bit long and out of place, but I've heard arguments to the contrary. I'm anxious for these to join the painting cue. When they get onto the painting table I'll continue the review of them as painting subjects. A preliminary look would make me believe different painting styles could benefit these minis uniquely as the WM at first glance make me think they could be a great speed painting subject.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


During the last moments of Christmas day I finished basing the completed triari for my first legion of MRRs. These are OG 15's and painted up well. These minis represent a couple of firsts for me.

Xyston Spears
I substituted the wire that came packaged with the minis with the spears available through Xyston. My first concern was attaching them as I've rarely encountered this situation aside from the odd standard bearer. After much trial and error I've decided on a method of scoring ridges on the spear and model before applying JB Weld for its fixture. During the painting process they had many an opportunity to come off but always stayed firmly attached.

LBMS Transfers
Back in '08 when I was buying lead and hatching this project I had decided that the triari in each legion would go beyond a plain shield design to further suggest their status. I quickly decided to go the way of LBMS as they offered transfers to fit OG15s. When it came time to try them for the first time I had my doubts, but having read many an endorsement I took the plunge.
At first my doubts were given validation, but only due to my own oversight and possibly some clarification needed by LBMS on their site although I do not fault them. I had purchased the minis and transfers at the same time last year and did not have the minis prior to ordering the transfers. If I had, I would have seen that the OG triari shields are of a slightly different proportion than those of the hastatai/princeps. Not only are the triari shields longer, but the center of the shield is further down the axis. This contrasts with the hastatai/princeps center being exactly that, center. The problem is of course that the transfers are made with the hastatai/princeps in mind.
Rather than withdraw I reinforced the situation and made some slight trimming adjustments and made them fit as best I could. After this I needed to touch them up considerably to match the shield colors and contours. I had a couple of areas of buckling due to the slightly different shape, but that was easily dealt with buy making a small cut and allowing an overlap which after touch ups is not noticeable. Despite the oversight and the extra touch ups I'm happy with the finished product and will use them again. If I have one tip to give any first time LBMS user, its to not get discouraged. At times it may seem like they might not look as good as you hoped, but with a little help and after drying, varnishing etc, they turn out just fine. Even the simple act of application gets easier by the time you get 16 minis done, so keep trying, LBMS has a great product.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hastatai & Princeps

Today I finished the 16 bases of Hast/Princ belonging to the first legion in my MRR project. Unfortunately the light I had always used to photograph with burned out and I had to send away for a new bulb, so please forgive the ad hoc lighting.

These are Old Glory's 15mm hastatai and princeps advancing figures. I painted them using the simple technique of 2-3 shade colors over a black primer. At the end of the day I'm pleased with how these turned out, but I feel I can do better on the next legions whenever I choose to take on those.

Once I finish the triari and a group of Cretan archers my next step is undecided. I may go right back into painting the next legion or take a break and do some of the Antigonid force I've collected or put paint to that mound of lead under my desk, aka. an ancient Spanish army from Corvus. There is always the repainting of the my poor AWI Hessians that were lost to an unfortunate Armory Sealant malfunction.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Roman Velites (1)

This entry is showing the completion of my first batch of MR Romans. My general idea for putting together this army is painting 3 legions in corresponding themes along with the cavalry, optional troops and etc for the FoG list. These velites belong to the first such legion which is painted in a theme featuring a basic white as the main ingredient. I varied the tunic colors with a number of shades ranging from canvas to rawhide. The figures are Old Glory 15's and I'm pleased with how well they turned out after I finished painting.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Basing Revisited

When contemplating on how I was going to produce base cover and effects for my FoG armies, I was lucky enough to stumble upon a great technique illustrated by Scott MacPhee. Making a visit to the necessary establishments I gathered the supplies needed.

  • Fine Brown Ballast
  • Elmers Glue All
  • Elmers Wood Glue

The items already on hand were the nutmeg brown paint, base sand paint from Foundry, static grass, blended turf and varying sizes of stone ballast.

My only deviations from Scott's process was in style. I used different shades for the base and highlight as well as using both the static grass and blended turf flock. Not great leaps of any sort, just a matter of taste.

The one addition I made was the placing of large stones in the wood glue along with the miniatures to cure. This was done to create the visual of stones emerging from the earth and not merely sitting on top of it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Moving Complete

Well this last year saw my family move to a house closer to our work while we look for a more permanent dwelling and my lovely wife has graciously gifted me a small corner in the uppermost level to continue my wargaming pursuits. Although the space is much smaller it will do for now. I'm beginning to see a correlation between family size increasing and gaming space decreasing. On the table you can see many projects in stages of finish. Most prevalent are my MRRs for FoG. I'll be updating their progress in the near future as well as the status of others.

At times working up here reminds me of Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation.

Monday, February 2, 2009

What a busy year!

Let me tell you its been one busy year. As yet another football season ends and another basketball season nears its end I have been making plans to catch up on my years worth of collecting and the painting which I've done as time permits. The good news for my miniature wargaming side is that I've decided this will be my last year coaching. Too many hours away from the painting table! (I told the wife its to spend more time with her...)

Aside from finishing my ancients project and continuing with AWI and ACW, my reading lately has brought my interest into Napoleonics. I think its safe to say that you'll find me dabbling here, most likely in the direction of Bavarians...or maybe some Russians.

This year will see this blog much more active and thanks to those of you who still drop by.