Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Another day, another blog post!

Well, after my record time update last weekend, obviously my brain couldn't cope with the possibility of three updates in a single week. But now it's a new week, and it's safe to post again...

In all fairness, I've not actually had much to post about over the past week. Work has resumed and so my painting time has reduced correspondingly. I have managed to make some small progress with a few things though.

First up, the Clanrats:

 Not much left to do on them now, but I've not touched them for four or five days.

Next up, a few Napoleonics...


And Cuirassiers:

And now for the reason why they're not finished yet. I'm an idiot.

Let me elaborate. Last weekend was the WMMS wargames show, and I mentioned that I was going to get basing supplies. Well, I did get basing supplies. I just didn't get all the basing supplies. I use Basetex to do all my 15mm bases, and I'd completely forgotten that I needed new pots of the stuff. Hence when I went to pick up the basing supplies, I completely ignored the Basetex and simply bought the magnetic stuff I wanted. Come Monday morning when I wanted to start working on the figures, I was kicking myself.

The next chance I'll get to buy some will be Salute in mid-April, and I'm not 100% sure I'll be going. Failing that, I'll have to order it online and have to wait for it to get here...

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Update in Record Time!

This must be the shortest time between updates ever - two updates in two days! You lucky devils...

Well, as I mentioned yesterday, today was the Alumwell wargames show. We headed up this morning to find the Stalingrad game in the midst of setting up. I didn't manage to get any pics of the table unfortunately, but the guys really pulled out all the stops to make a great looking board.

We were lucky to be positioned as the first demo game inside the doors, so we attracted a lot of attention from everyone coming into the hall. There were a lot of great looking games, including one right next door which was a reenactment of the Battle of Towton - two huge War of the Roses armies facing each other across a snow-covered field, and one of the bloodiest battles fought on English soil. I couldn't hang around long enough to find out whether history repeated itself unfortunately, but it was set up to be an excellent game from what I did see.

It wasn't all about the games though - there were plenty of trade stands, as always. Naturally, I took the opportunity to splash some cash. Windwind Productions had no Saxon Archers again (second year running...) so I may have to resort to buying them online after all. I managed to pick up the Napoleonic cavalry I was after though: more Dragoons, Cuirassiers, Bavarian Cheveau-Legér, as well as some Voltigeurs. I have enough Line Infantry for the whole army, so it's time to start getting some other infantry to add in.
Of course, there were the usual temptations of new projects, shiny new figures for bright new periods of history. Yet again I lacked the willpower and resolve to resist, and I am now the owner of two boxes of these:

I've been a fan of the figures since they were released, so it didn't take much to overcome my resolve (in truth, I've been looking for an excuse...) The great thing about the European Mercenaries is that they are incredibly flexible; they can be used to form the backbone of pretty much any medieval European army - War of the Roses mercenaries (for both sides), Italian Condotta, Swiss, Burgundians, French, Holy Roman Empire, the Low Countries and even late 15th Century Spanish. 40 figures for just £18 works out at just 45p per figure - absolutely fantastic value, and brilliant quality figures as well. Buying two boxes also got me two free Mounted pages, so can't complain about that! Now I just have to decide exactly what army I want to use them as...

In other news, a surprising amount of progress has been made with the Clanrats:

That's the two main colours complete. Now to start on the details.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Clanrats Underway!

Another update!

Those Packmasters did eventually get finished; nothing special, but they're only Packmasters!

I'll get some pictures of the whole unit up some time next week.

More importantly, I've made a start on the Clanrats:

I've decided to go with Clan Rictus in terms of colour scheme, so all the cloth and clothing has now been painted black. Next up will be the armour and metal (Chainmail) followed by details such as the shields which will add a bit of colour and variety to the unit.

All in all, I'm pretty pleased with the progress so far. These 30 only took me a few hours (I didn't time it exactly and I was watching Pillars of the Earth at the same time, so that probably slowed me down!) but I managed to keep going and paint all 30 in one sitting - the great thing about the models so far is that they are all different and individual, which made painting them a lot less repetitive and kept me interested in them. The hard part of getting started is out of the way, so hopefully they'll come together quickly over the next couple of days.

Alumwell - West Midlands Military Show

Tomorrow is the day of the Alumwell wargames show (officially, the WMMS), and Stafford Games are once again putting on a demo game (as well as the usual trading stand). This time, we're running a FoW Stalingrad game complete with an urbanised table, with all the terrain purpose-made for the game by members of the club. All in all, a very impressive effort to get all the terrain and all the forces together and ready to play.

With 45+ trading stands, it's also a great opportunity for me to grab some bits and pieces for the various armies I need. I'll be visiting Magnetic Displays/Coritani for some basing materials - I'm planning on magnetising all the Skaven, so I'll need to stock up on steel paper etc. I'll be looking for more Napoleonic French (particularly cavalry) so a trip to Lancashire Games, and I'm after some more Westwind Saxons as well. There will likely be the usual bring-and-buy stands as well, so those will be worth a look for any bargains. You never know, there might be some cheap Skaven!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

A bit later than planned...

...but here's that update I promised!

First up, the CCUP boyz. These are more or less done now, minus any touch-ups I notice or any further highlighting I feel is necessary.

Not the best photos (lighting isn't great, and I forgot to adjust the levels in Photoshop...), but hopefully they show the pertinent details. Any comments are welcome!

And the "surprise"...

Yes, ladies and gents, that is the first finished unit of my Skaven army! Admittedly, it's only Giant Rats which are probably the quickest Skaven models to paint, but it's a unit nonetheless and another 17 models to add to my "Completed" total for the year to date. That brings me up to a rather underwhelming grand total of 22 models completed since January 1st (I'm counting the Doomwheel as 3 models, being as it's a bit of a beast). Better start churning out those Clanrats to top up the total. 300 models in a year works out at 25 models a month, so I'm more than 50% behind schedule *eek*

Of course, the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that this Giant Rats unit is distinctly lacking in Packmasters. Never fear, they are in the middle of painting and will be finished within the next day or so....hopefully.....

In other news, I'm reading a book called Standard of Honour, the second in The Templar Trilogy by Jack Whyte.  As you may have guessed from the title, it's about the Knights Templar. The first book tells the story of Hugues de Payens (Anglicised in the book to Hugh de Payens) and the formation of the 'Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon' as the Templars were originally known during the First Crusade. I won't spoil the story for those of you who've not read it, but it's presented as the historical "truth" of the Templars, with a skipload of conspiracy theory-esque plotlines that build on the ideas that the Da Vinci Code kicked with great force into the public eye. The series has slipped under the radar (or at least my radar) but for anyone with a liking for historical fiction and a bit of conspiracy, it's well worth a read.

Some of you may now be asking what this has to do with anything remotely wargaming-related? Well, it's got me itching to get back to my long-suffering Bretonnians and continue rebasing and repainting them into a Crusade theme. I started the whole project a long time ago, and got as far as halfway through a single unit of Knights before the next shiny thing came along (I think it may have been the then-new 7th Edition Warhammer rules, to give you an idea of just how long we're talking about). Now, with new Tomb Kings just round the corner, it may be time to dust off the Brets, give them a fresh lick of coat and basing of sand and send them out into the desert to face the Undead minions of Settra once more. Who knows? You may even see some on this blog before long...

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Another quickie...

Just a quick one; I have been working but haven't got much stuff to show for it at the moment. It won't be long before I do have stuff to show though.

In the meantime, here's the completed Doomwheel:

Took me a while to get a finish on the base that I was happy with, but managed it eventually.

And just to finish off for today, an update on the CCUP figures:

I've done more work on them today; with any luck, I'll be able to post the finished photos (or close to finished) tomorrow. I'll also have a surprise to show off!