Thursday, 16 December 2010

Last one.

I have decided to incorporate the two blogs in one...and its going to be the other one. Therefore The Words of Subedai will be carrying on with all the news and views of the Sassys and the Byz Boys as of today. Hope you carry on following their growth as wargaming armies.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Trouble with lichen

Now as you are aware, I am using the floral colour for unit recognition. Fair enough, I hear you say, but what of it? That is the crux of this post. The other day I picked up one of the elephants and most of the bl**dy flowery stuff fell off. Good, idea, thinks I, then they can fight for both sides by changing the flower colour. Immediately berating myself I realised that this was an unknown factor in my basing technique. Obviously, the situation could not be allowed to go any further otherwise I would end up with flower-free basis -not a pretty sight. So, what I have done is to make up a very thin mix of PVA and dribbled it onto the flowers and let it soak in right down to the base. Sets rock-hard and still looks the mutts nads. gets a bit darker though, but that's okay as I am using nice bright, standout colours on the repainted flowers anyway.

So that's what I have been doing for the last week and a half; that and finishing off the second unit of levy, (Irregular, same as the first), making up a nice little five figured diorama of some three levy and a couple of skirmishers, (Lancashire) who are separated from their units and are preparing to defend themselves. Aaannnd, half finished another unit of levy, only this time the figure are Donnington. Rather nice little chaps.

Bristles upwards, chaps.


Thursday, 7 October 2010

Quick Tally-up

Right, well as you have already guessed, I didn't hit my painting target for the year. For the Sassy's I ended up one unit of LC and a unit of Levy short (nine cavalry, thirty infantry and six bolt throwers plus crews to be exact). Not included in that total is another Levy unit of thirty from Donnington bought at Derby. For the Byz...well, most of them are still in the box. But in my defense I did have a couple of diversions like the repainting of the bases of my two WW II 6mm armies and also starting on the Hunnic Mongols which, by the way, currently stands at 28 painted, leaving a mere 104 to do and it took an absolute age to do the three elephants and all the pretty colours on the cavalry.
So, grand totals for the year are as follows:
70 infantry
76 cavalry
3 elephants

29 infantry
15 cavalry

Hunnic Mongols
28 cavalry

6 Middle Eastern buildings

Pitiful. I reckon if I'd spent a bit more time painting and less time surfing through anything on the tinterweb that caught my fancy I would probably have at least half as many again painted but, as I did say at the beginning, there was no real time factor involved. (Luckily I hear you say).
Now this attitude seems to smack of defeatism, But Nay! I cry, I shall carry on turning out the units at irregular intervals -I've already made a start on the next unit of Levy- and maybe, if I get a chance to go to the Walsall-that-is-now-at-Wolverhampton Show I hope to be able to get some after having the current crop of Sassy's done. (Be good if I could do it.)

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Finally, pics.

Talk about dumbar** or what. After much faffing about with the camera I had a what I would classify as a brainstorm (with me it's usually a light drizzle...think about it), and tried the card from the 'incompatible' camera in a newer camera. Guess what? It only went and bl**dy worked, didn't it? So, after an almost geological period of waiting, here are some pics of the Clibs. Sorry, you'll have to wait a bit longer for the light infantry, after all, I'm still in a state of shock.


Saturday, 25 September 2010

Mightily brassed off with techno-lology!!!

Well, let me tell you! Old machine had 55 mega-giggsy-bytey thingys of which I could access 7...with next to nothing on it. MO -the resident puter buff- said it's because it's old and knackered. 'Like me.' I quipped.'No, you're just old.' he replied with a smirk 'Ta, son.' I said as I clouted the cheeky upstart about the pate until he outran me -about two seconds later. I thought of giving the stalwart beast a Viking funeral or or at least deep-sixing it until I heard the dulcet tones of a tatters trumpet, so it got heaved unceremoniously onto the flatbed instead. Now, I have another hand-me-up from EO (like hand-me-downs only in reverse) a machine that has lots more giggsy things. Bargain thinks I, then I find that der verdammdt machinen is running on Windows 7 and neither my camera or my printer are supported by that operating system! Managed to download the drivers for the printer but the ones for the camera are still hidden somewhere in the esoteric vastness of cyber-spsace and have eluded me. Tried one which worked a treat until I tried to download some piccies -bloody software said no new pictures, despite 20 being on there! Still looking, though, it's not going to beat me. Not only that but it couldn't find the blasted tinterweb and the USB ports on the back wouldn't work either. The tinterweb problem was fixed by purchasing something called an ethernet cable and the other by MO doing something in the back of the tower. So that is the sitch so far. Clibs and two units of LI archers done but no pics available...yet. Still working on that one.

Derby next weekend. Boy, has that come round fast or what? On the list this year are some more levy infantry and maybe some more LC but I don't quite know about the latter. If I do they will be from Donnington for a change. Then that will be about all for the Sassys for a while, the remainder of this ongoing narrative will concentrate on the Byz boys.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Sorry, this is another piccy-less update

As the blog reading fraternity will know, I have had an Intermission on the Sassies and the Byz Boys to rehash my old 6mm WWII Germans and Russians- nearly 200 30mm x 20mm bases and I can't say that I'm not sorry to finally see them off for another decade. So now it's back to the two units of Sassy LI archers which are half done.

Good news is that the two units of clibs are complete, just waiting for some decent weather and yours truly being off work to coincide -ha, more chance of nicking the Crown of England, but you never know. Looks like I am working six days this week -straight through till Sunday.

Nose to the grindstone etc.


Tuesday, 3 August 2010

On a roll now. All my own work.

Here are some piccies of the small village I made. The little containers on the top are from the old Airfix Wild West set -I think...they are definitely Airfix anyway. Fences are made from matchsticks and the wheel is Irregular? All the rest is differing thickness of card covered with PVA, sand and paint.

Is masking tape the modern papier-mache? Part Three

Here are a few examples of the completed, based and painted palm trees as promised. The picture below shows a base of a couple of trees.

Another shot of the two tree base with an unbased building to give an idea of scale.

This is a picture of all the different palm tree bits I've made so far. I have a few ideas for more to keep each one a bit individual.

The group of trees that featured in the first two parts of this item.

This is a dead palm tree. Basically it's just a small garden variety twig wrapped in masking tape then painted. Masking tape covered one end creating a nice bump as if the earth has been pulled up when the tree fell. The bumps are just small stones glued to the base then covered in the usual way.

You will notice that there are no leaves/fronds, this is because the locals have already nicked 'em to make fencing. Honest, thats what they do with them to keep the desert back in the same way we build sea walls. (Here's the photographic evidence taken by yours truly from the edge of the Sahara in Tunisia).

Now before you go around poo-pooing the whole idea as cheap and nasty, don't forget that these are only meant as a wargaming representation, not as a precise copy. After all, even without the headings I'm sure that anyone could have recognized them for what they are. I suppose for more leaves you could use finer wire (same place and price but obviously a lot more length for your dosh -don't even think about it- the only problem is that when you need quite a few to make it look aesthetically pleasant, less work is definitely the order of the day. I envisage about 25 -30 of the little bu**ers should look alright.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Grassy, tufty thingys

Here is a quick and simple method on making grassy, tufty thingys that all discerning wargamers seem to have as part of their basing protocol. Yeah, yeah, I know the nylon tufty thingys look better but you have to buy them, this way they are completely free, and more immediately to hand. 

Cut a small tuft of sisal string and apply a blob of glue from your trusty glue gun to the bottom. Then stick it on a piece of spare card, I use the same card as for my bases. Only the quick drying adhesive of a glue gun works  because if PVA or contact adhesive is used, the lot falls over before the glue dries. 

When required, a sharp, angled tug will pull the tuft off along with a layer of card, thus keeping it all together. Cutting different sizes and lengths and gluing them down means that you have a ready supply of these totally indispensable items. Now you can use PVA or contact glue.

Damp is better.


Is masking tape the modern papier-mache? Part Two

8. You will no doubt notice that there is a gap at the top where all the wires are visible. Fear not! Cut a small tuft of sisal string and glue it in, making sure that you cover all the wires. This represents the new growth.

9 and 10. Now is the time to paint your trees. I used khaki for the bark, dry-brushed with khaki-grey and a light brown. The stems, leaves and tufts are painted dark green and dry-brushed with a lighter green.This photo shows the trees with the 'roots bent out so that the whole thing can be glued down. Bend the trunks slightly for a bit of variation.

11. As you can see, I missed out a step. Using a hot-glue gun -one of my favourite wargaming aids- glue the ends of the roots securely down to the base. Once that has set, using masking tape, cover the whole of the root system like you would with papier-mache, (ask a parent or older person if you don't know what papier-mache is).

12 and 13. These are close-up pictures -one slightly blurred, I know, sorry about that- of the base, showing how the wires covered with masking tape actually create small depressions and ridges, breaking up the otherwise flat uniformity. Don't worry about any visible folds in the masking tape, either cover it with another piece or gloop more PVA and sand onto the base.

14. Finally, a picture of the whole base with some small rocks added for effect. When I get a chance, I will post some piccies of the completed article.

PS Sorry about the picture/script ratio, still haven't completely figured it out.

Keep yer bristles damp.


Saturday, 31 July 2010

Is masking tape the modern papier-mache? Part One

Now, a few posts ago I showed you some buildings wot I had made. The other day I thought I could run through the construction process for anyone who wants to know how simple it is. But at the time I was having a go at making some 15mm palm trees so here is a pictorial tutorial on the way I make them instead. (The building piccies will happen, I promise). 

1. Using medium sized coated gardening wire on a roll (£2.99 from Homebase) cut out between 6 and 9 relatively even lengths. Accuracy is not crucial at this point.

2. Lay out a strip of masking tape with the sticky side up and secure at each end with thin strips of the same. Lay out the wires with the ends closer to the bottom, although once again, accuracy is not crucial. Leave gaps between each wire as per photo.  

3. Lay another strip of masking tape, sticky side down, over the first, making sure that the tape sticks in between the wires.
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4. Cut out in between the wires so you basically end up with some square lollipop shapes.

5. Cut each of the squares into spearhead shapes.

6. Holding all of the wires together, wrap masking tape tightly around the stem, starting about 15-20mm from the bottom. (In other words, leave enough to glue down to the base.) Wrap at a slight angle to represent the bark stopping when you reach the bottom of the leaves.

7. Once wrapped, gently prise the leaves apart and bend over in all directions. Do the same with the 'roots'.

Latest on the Sassies

Firstly, a quick update on the clibs; the warriors for both units are finished and based but the ruperts and flag-wavers only half few days should see them all done. Reckoned I've got enough Irregular chappies now so I had a quick scout around the tinterweb and found the Donnington website.

Now, I bought some of their Mongols at Triples and was quite impressed so Derby could be a Donnington-fest to increase the Sassies by a couple of 2 or 3 units, clibs, LC and Levy are looking favourite at the mo. then another couple of units for the Byz army.

More as it occurs to me especially on the Far Eastern front; some Sung/Khitan/Tanguts from Irregular possibly?

Friday, 25 June 2010

Long time waiting

Okay, I know its been over a month since my last entry but I now understand why ancient armies didn't have many elephants, I mean have you ever tried painting the bl**dy things? You would have thought big, grey and thats it... er no. They are all that and a darn sight more, especially if you have men on top and castles, shields and standards and everything else to paint in as many different colours as possible for effect.  But I did them...all 3 of them. Have a look at the pics and you will see what I mean. 

The commanders hand painted standard and side panels are made from thick tissue paper with a couple of coats of PVA to harden it a bit; poles from brass wire; sisal rope on poles and the golden decorations are from a child's plastic bracelet superglued in place.

The Byz skatties have hardly any convertions exept for one archer chappie who now has a leather skull cap cos he lost his helmet. 'Put that man on a charge, sarn't major!'

Quite chuffed with the paint jobs on both. Now, honestly there are the first dozen of the Sass clibs undercoated and ready to go...after I have finished another seven Hunnic Mongols of course.

Don't know whether you've noticed that there is a strong Hammers connection with this World Cup squad. Green and Upson still play, Defoe, Carrick, Joe Cole, Johnstone, Lampard and Ferdinand (if he was fit) have all played for the Irons at some stage. In the original 30 you could add Parker to the list as well. Not bad eh? Speaks volumes for the Academy.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Finally, got some pics for your delictation

Long time since my last post; things been moving along apace. Triples was good, spread out over a few halls but good nonetheless. My only beef was the positioning of the Bring and Buy, caused a lot of congestion as it was in a sort of funnel type corridor.

We arrived at Sheffield station with no problems and while waiting for YO to arrive in her nice new jam I took some pics of the nice water feature just outside, then put camera in coat pocket. Dozy ar*e that I am, I took my coat off in the car and bloody well left it there...didn't realise until halfway around the show that I'd left the sodding thing behind, so sorry no pics of Triples from yours truly this year. 

More pics of the boys as you can see...3rd and 4th LC and first LI units for the Sassy's all finished  and  the 1st unit of Byz Skutatoi finished, just need the base material done. Not only that but also, I have included some terrain bits wot I have made, namely a few bits of rocky broken ground, a little generic village for the Middle East and a few casualty markers. There are also a few pics of the whole of the Sassy force to date; next up will be the two units of clibs. I have some buildings done but not enough for a second base yet.

Oh, Hunnic Mongols figure total stands at 14 finished, another 7 undercoated. Worked out that if I get another 60 odd cavalry, I will have a couple of tumen. Its a start.

Mine are damp, are yours?


Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Full of anticipation -just like a runtling at Crimble

Looking forward to Triples this weekend -never been before. Nearly went back in the 70's when I was actually working in Sheffield but traveled all the way back to north Essex for a Sealed Knot muster instead. Should be a good do if the tinterweb spiel is anything to go by.

Nearly finished the Sassanid LI; after that the first ten of the Byzantine Skutoutai are primed and raring to go.

Already put in my order for the rest of the Sassy's and the Byz; picking them up at the show. Still unsure about what to do next but having some really worrying radical ideas at the mo. Might get temporarily sidetracked, don't know for sure. Watch this space for further updates.

  Also I want to see what period buildings are out there in the market place. I will be checking them out and thinking as to whether I can make my own. Might have a problem with the domes on the mosques though, so I could buy a few of them just for variety. I have some ideas about conurbation which I shall share at a later date, all being well. 

Second 7 of the Hunnic Mongols are almost finished.

I'll give you my reflections on the show as well, hopefully along with some piccys.

Don't let your paint dry on the brushes,