Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Peninsular War: Royal Navy Landing Party

My whole interest in Sharp Practice and Napoleonic was piked by watching reruns of Horneblower on cable. I was sat watching it one day with my good lady wife (who's ears always seem to prick up at the sight of young Ioan Gruffudd in a smart uniform) and I thought- wouldn't it be cool to do these in 28mm. I grabbed the Ipad and I searched the net, and found these lovely figures...sculpted by Britain's own Paul Hicks, but annoyingly only available from the US of A at Brigade Games. Luckily the pound to dollar exchange rate was quite favourable so I ordered them, along with some marines from the same range. I had to wait a while for them to be cast, and for the post, which is why I started on the redcoats, but as soon as they arrived I was itching to get them painted. 

Here they are, with profiles for Sharp Practice. 

(In Sharp Practice the Big Men (officers, NCO's etc) are described in narrative terms, rather than having a stat line that is just a series of abstract numbers.  The important characteristics are in italics.)

 Captain William Brighton, RN, captain of a 44 gun Frigate, the HMS Endurance, is an elderly officer close to retirement but with a long and illustrious career in the Royal Navy. His fellow captains and crew rate him as a jolly good fellow, although old age, and a life time aboard ships, have left him something of a sickly cove. He is quite plain to look upon, a  fair hand with a sword, and an occasional rider. He was the son of an admiral, and despite the fact that he has never risen particularly high in the ranks of the Royal Navy, he is never the less universally loved by his crew, who know that he is chivalrous, fair-handed and he is a well read man of letters

3rd Lieutenant Arthur Bonham, of the HMS Endurance, is a strapping fellow, a noted young buck with a promising carrier ahead of him. He is tall, athletic and devilishly hansom. He is a popular cove with his crew, and with the ladies! Mr Bonham is an accomplished horseman,an all-round athlete, and a fair hand with a sword.
He is from a family of new money, his father is a wealthy cotton merchant in Liverpool, but Mr Bonham is a man of adventure, not book keeping. He is an honourable man, except when it comes to the fairer sex, when he has a reputation as being something of a lecherous ladies man. 

 And here is a group shot of my RN landing party, lead by Mr Bonham...

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Salute 2014: Part 2

Drop Zone Commander- A very large and very overgrown city.

A Samurai village from 4 Ground, using their Japanese buildings. Full of character and detail.

Again 4 Ground- a whole town built using their buildings- if money really was no object something like this would be nice...

Another VSF board- for IHMN I think- Alan Quartermain and the Temple of What-not...something like that. 

VSF's popularity seems undiminished at this years Salute. 

A fantasy swamp board from Fenris Games- lovely details- and very slimy looking water!

7TV/Crooked dice never fail to disappoint- this is a small but perfectly formed board!

I hope you like what you have seen- there were many lovely bards at salute- it was hard to pick my favourites- well done to everyone involved. 

Salute 2014 Photos: Part 1

 Some photos from Salute...

 D-day landings...breath takings. Biggest, and possibly the best table of the day.

Indochina 1954 from Redstar Miniatures...I want this table in my loft. If I could have nicked it I would!

A Massive game for Saga in the crusades by Gripping Beasts...:lovely city walls. 

 A Mars based Victorian SciFi battle- tremendous figures and scope- One of my favourites of the day. 

Not yet released fantasy Mordiem-type buildings from 4-Ground. They will be pre-painted but will need roof tiles adding (also pre-painted). 4-Ground will be making ruined ones too. Pulp Citizen wants these for out Freebooter's Fate games. 

A cute board for Skirmish Sangin made from carpet tiles and mats. The Guys form Skirmish Sangin came over from New Zealand didn't want to have to ship a board over- so they made this from materials bought from B&Q when they got to the UK...Very cleaver.

More to Follow...

Friday, 11 April 2014

Salute 2014

I am off to Salute with me old pal Pulp Citizen in the morning. I am very excited. I have pre-ordered lots of stuff, so this time I can spend more time taking photos, and trying out games- I thing one day is too short a time for an event like Salute: I would prefer a whole week end!

This year I am going to concentrate on buying stuff for my Modern African wargaming setting- Zugando. I am going to pick up a few militias, and some obsolete ex-soviet block T-34/85's to give the USMC something to worry about. I am going to look at the militia from Eureka and from a new company called Specter Miniatures (who will be launching a modern wargaming Kick Starter on the 1st May.)

In addition to the modern stuff, I am mostly going to concentrate on Napoleonics, and namely the Peninsular War- I shall be visiting Front Rank, Eureka, Trent, SHQ and Perry: I have quite a long shopping list. Some of it will be obvious- 95th rifles etc, but some might be a bit more surprising/interesting.

Last on my list is some English Civil War clubmen form Warlord- Not really my period, but it is a popular periods at the Earlswood Wargamers, and So I thought I would paint a few for the club, just because they look interesting. 

Finally I will be taking a bit of cash for the odd impulse buy that Salute always necessitates. 

I will be sure to post pictures of what I buy ASAP!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Peninsular War: Redcoats

Kicking off my Sharp Practice Peninsular War collection are the Warwickshire Regiment of redcoats. Smart fellows in smart uniforms, ready to do their bit for king and country. 

I have painted 16 troopers, and a command stand, but having read Sharps Practice have realised that 20 troopers is better, because I can split it into two groups of 10, so at some point (after Lead Painters League) I will add another 'stand' of four troopers. 

They are from Victrix, and the flag is from GMB designs. The bases are from Warbases. 

In Sharp Practice the Big Men (officers, NCO's etc) are described in narrative terms, rather than having a stat line that is just a series of abstract numbers. Here are my first two 'Big Men'  from the Warwickshire Regiment. The important characteristics are in italics.

Capitan George Queensbury

Captain George Queensbury of the 24th Warwickshire Regiment is ranked as a 'Jolly Good Chap'. He is a giant of a man, trained as an athlete and a boxer, and is a fair hand with his sword. He is no looker, having had his nose badly broken in a fight. He is a strict disciplinarian, and is universally detested by his men. His family made their fortune as slaver traders in the 18th century , and George will box the ears of any man who calls his a 'Nabob'. George detests horses, is only an occasional rider, avoiding riding whenever he can.  
Despite being strict with his men he is a very chivalrous gentleman, and his word is binding. 

Company Sargent Ezekiel Grubber

Company Sargent Ezekiel Grubber runs the entire company for Captain Quennsbury. He is a fine fellah, and a strapping fellow, but with a face like a pigs backside. He can ride well enough, being an occasional horseman, but he is a slasher with his sword. Being something of a bounder, he is  universally detested by his men. Consumed by avarice and greed, he often steels from his men, and his known as a lush, and a mean drunk to boot. 

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Lead Painters League: Abudul Alhazred and his Minions

In my Conanesque world Abdul Alhazred, the so called "Mad Arab" is a dark sorcerer, who has dedicated his life to studying the dark and forbidden knowledge. He travels the lands in search of vile mysteries and powerful artefacts, accompanied by his faithful body guards, his panther and his own Djinn.

Its been a while since I painted anything for my Conan range, as the Conan campaign is long completed, but this weeks Lead Painters League round had a theme of 'Realms of Fantasy' and so I thought I would have a rummage through the lead mountain and I found these. They are Hell Dorado figures (except the Djinn which his a Reaper Dust Devil).

The Lead Painters League is an annual competition on Lead Adventure forum. Members have to paint five figures a week for ten weeks,and then photograph them and post them to be judged. some of the weeks- like this one- have a theme. 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Female Armour Sucks!

Here is a funny video that illustrates the inherent differences between male and female armour- It literally made me laugh out-loud

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Peninsular War: Frenchies Off eBay

In order to get a fighting force ready for sharp practice I have decided to try something I have never even contemplated before: Buying painted figures on eBay.  After reading an article in Wargames Illustrated on repainting figures bought on eBay, I realised that it might speed things up considerably. I began to scour the store for a bargain, and stumbled on these- some nearly-completely-finished French infantry- obviously someone started the project and ran out of steam before finishing it (that would never happen to me I assure you! lol). From what I could make out in the photo they looked like they had been painted in a similar style to my own. 
And how much did I pay for this little lot? £38 for 36 Crusader Miniatures. Which is less than I would have paid for them unpainted from the Crusader miniatures store. 

This is how they arrived- all well packed in card- all in good condition except for a few chips of paint- and all based on card with plaster filler round their integral bases. 
Crusader miniatures are a bit shorter and a bit chunkier than the Victrix ones I have been painting for the British, but not so much that they look stupid. And for that price...
First things first I had to take them off their bases- mercifully this proved very easy- and once I had scraped off most of the excess plaster then I could stick them to my bases and 'sand' them so they match my British.

These ones are some Elite infantry that I have just re-based but not painted yet- the previous owner painted them as a mix of Light Infantry and Grenadiers, but I will be painting them as a single unit of grenadiers because I like the look  of light infantry in skirmishing poses, and grenadiers marching in nice ordered ranks.
So what needed doing? I didn't like the way the previous owner had painted the trousers, and the gun barrels were too shiny, and the faces too dark, but on the whole they just needed touching up a bit.  Here they are after their treatment...

And here they are- two stands of Grenadiers for my French army- and was it quicker than painting them from scratch? Well, I managed to paint each stand of four in a single evening, and for the British I was pleased to be getting five models per week. And when you take into account the time it would have took to de-flash, remove mould lines and spray them up I think they represent a considerable saving in time and money.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Peninsular War Backdrop- (Complete)

I have finally finished my Backdrop for my Peninsular War 
Napoleonics- It took a lot longer than I had initially imagined, but I think it was worth the effort. 
I was so excited I snapped of a few photos with some of my British army and sailors- just to see what it looked like- the lighting was very poor, so you will have to use you imagination a bit. 
The British Army are Victrix, and the sailor is from Brigade Games in america- but sculpted by our own Paul Hicks. 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Peninsular War Backdrop (WIP)

At the moment I am jolly busy preparing for the Lead Painters League compensation, and so I can't show you any of the figures I have been working on for the last few weeks, but I can show you this- it is going to be a back drop for my photos of my Napoleonic Peninsular War figures, and obviously is representing a typical Spanish or Portuguese street scene- It might seem like quite a lot of work to go to (and it is) but I don't have any suitable buildings or terrain for the Iberian Peninsular yet, and if I want my figures to look cool I need something suitable- It's also a good chance for me to practice some scenery making techniques that I will eventually employ to make a whole village for use in the games. 

The balcony are laser cut MDF from Warbases- as are the windows and shutters. This plastic door is a left over from the Mighty Fortress. The buildings are foam card, and the barn is made from balsa and part of a broken resin model from TSS I have been meaning to recycle for some time. 

It is a happy chance that I decided to base my Napoleonics on 1p coins not 2p, so that they can rank up together in close order- because the 1p coins fit onto the balcony really well. 

Here you can use you imagination to picture how the back drop will work if was all painted- also not they use of brown undercoat for my Napoleonic range- something of an experiment- and I like the way it is working out. 

I'll post pictures when it is done- That is allowed win the LPL rules.