Thursday, 16 December 2010
Thursday, 25 November 2010
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
So, grand totals for the year are as follows:
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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).
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.
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'.
Firstly, a quick update on the clibs; the warriors for both units are finished and based but the ruperts and flag-wavers only half finished...next 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
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
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
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,
Thursday, 1 April 2010
Finally, after a lot of faffing around with the Great Demon WORK I have managed to finish the other two Sassy LC units. In reality they would have been finished a lot sooner if I had remembered that I had not painted a standard bearer for the first unit so I had to hold the basing until that particular chap was done. So what is left, you ask? Well not much now. I have a unit of 12 LI javelin types half done and then it's just the other unit of levy and that's all folks...until after Triples of course. For the Byz it's a bit different. I have a unit of 30 Skoutati to paint and that's it for them. Again, the rest are coming from Triples. Eventually I will have about 15 units a side. (Currently I have 6 Sass and 1 Byz unit painted). Next day off is Sunday so I'm hoping it will be a little brighter than of late so I can get some piccys done -including the casualty markers.
Keep yer bristles damp
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Now I don't know if you are like me, but I don't spend ages painting the little chaps just to take them off the table as 'casualties' within minutes of starting a battle. Seeing as I am only having 3 bases to a unit it seems a tad visually imperfect...hence the casualty markers.
I actually 'borrowed the basic idea from another blog (the name and author of which completely escapes me), but the fella wanted some period specific bases to represent a given number of casualties for the unit. He had even gone as far as painting numbers around the edge to show how many casualties said unit had lost.
All I did was to 'dumb-down' the idea and make the bases more generic. So, on the way home from work the other evening I 'found' some more pieces of ornamental slate just lying around; luckily I had a plastic bag in my pocket and promptly picked them up.
The basic idea is that each little textured 30 x 40 base has either one or two pieces of slate on it to represent a like number of bases 'missing'. Problem solved, job done, balls in the net etc. Now I have some nice little markers that fit in with the terrain as well as serving a very useful purpose.
Next time I will try to take some pics to give you an idea of the visual aspect.
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Pleased to say that another unit of Persian light cavalry is nearly finished. I use the term nearly because I painted necessary figures, based them up and everything, then noticed that I hadn't sorted out a standard bearer for them; so now I have to paint the final light cavalry unit including two standard bearers and can't do the bases until they are done as well. Both units are from Lancky Games and true to form I have had to make some spear changes because of excessive bendiness and breakages. None the less they aren't looking too bad at the mo.
As Youngest Offspring is at Uni, I have convinced the missus that a weekend visit to Sheffield is a good idea...somewhere around the middle of April perhaps...maybe even the same weekend of Triples -what an amazing coincidence. So now I can get the rest of the Sassys and the Byz units that I am missing. (Probably end up getting other stuff as well.) I have already been in contact with that nice Mr Kay at Irregular to prepare him.
Thinking ahead to Derby this year and the start of next year's project, I am not sure whether to get 13th Century Russians/Poles/generic Europeans or Sung Chinese. I can use the Sassys as Khwarizmians so that's one army I don't need to get. I might even get some more Mongols to complete the second tumen. Currently, I have 4 x 15 figure units heavies and 8 x 9 figure light cavalry units. This translates into a full strength tumen of 3 HC and 7 LC units and one of each left over for the second. The jury is still out on that one.
Keep em wet
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
Sun came out today so I dashed into the grounds for some picture taking. Here are the results.
The command element for the levy infantry; the second unit of light cavalry and the first unit of Byz cavalry. (See what I mean about the colour combo?)
Hope you like 'em.
PS If you are into the number crunching aspect of wargaming, since early October last year when I bought this lot, the running total of painted figures now stands at 31 infantry and 46 cavalry -1 infantry and four cavalry units. Yeah, yeah, I know it's not exactly speed painting but so what, I'm doing it for my own enjoyment and there isn't really any rush on; not yet anyway. I set myself a target of next October to 'finish' both armies and it still looks good...even including the Hunnic Mongols.
PPS The 'rocks' I use on my bases were appropriated from a garden up the road. It's the ornamental bits of slate that people use because they are too posh to use wood chippings like me. All I do is give them a couple of increasing lighter grey dry-brushes and then a thin wash of Vallejo Smoke just to take the starkness off of the grey.
PPPS The first 7 Hunnic Mongols are nearly done. Obviously no pics of them yet because I have to paint another 56 of them first!