Thursday, January 23, 2020

WIP - Black Hoods Cavalry for Saga - Part 2

Additional progress made on the Black Hoods cavalry tonight. The shirts and pants are blocked in and some have had highlights started. Belts and scabbards are painted.

Good progress so far. I'm happy with how the faces came out and with the base color selection for the clothing. I'm still deciding on striping, etc. for the clothing.






Tuesday, January 21, 2020

WIP - Black Hoods Cavalry for Saga

Rodge from the Saga Thorsday YouTube channel announced a painting contest for February's Saga Thorsday eipsode. Since Rodge was kind enough to give my Twitch stream a shout out in the January Saga Thorsday eipsode, I thought it only fitting to again participate in the painting contest. This time I'm going to paint the Gripping Beast figures for the Black Hoods eastern horseman mercenary unit from the Age of Crusades book. My pack didn't contain a horn blower, but otherwise my figures are similar to what is shown on the Gripping beast site linked to above.

I started the project tonight on my Twitch.tv stream after priming the figures with a zenithil prime applied with my airbrush. The horses were also airbrushed, but will be worked on after the riders are finished. My hopes is I may be able to possibly make a time lapse movie of painting the entire unit when the project is done. We'll see if the stream video quality is good enough for that.

I'm hoping to spend a bit more time on this project and dial up the painting quality a couple of notches. So far I've blocked in the faces and heads and painted the helmets and chain mail. There's still plenty of room for improvement on all of this. When I'm closer to finished on all the figures I plan to make a second pass through each figure doing additional clean up and detail work.

For some short close-up videos of the figures you can go to this page on my Instagram. Time worked on the project so far is five hours including figure prep and priming the horses, shields and riders.














Wednesday, January 8, 2020

28mm Campanian Hoplites (2)

Nine more Campanian / Oscan hoplites. I painted these up to bring my previously painted unit up to a full four-stand phalanx. The existing figures have been through a re-basing to bring them up to Hanibal at the Gates 2.0 standards, but the 2.0 re-org required an additional stand in a two-point phalanx wing. These bring the unit up to full muster. Photos below include the full unit.

This adds nine figures for this year's painting totals. The figures are Old Glory and the shield transfers are homemade.








Tuesday, January 7, 2020

28mm Republican Roman Infantry

Two bases of Republican Roman principes and one base of velites for my 'tan shield' legion. These are Old Glory figures that have been sitting primed but idle on my painting table for over a year. Painting on Twitch has put my painting productivity into overdrive, so I'm starting to get to older projects that got stalled.

These were painted to match some triarii and velites I painted 18 months ago, but I couldn't resist the urge to 'dial it up to 11' and put some extra touches on the officer's faces, cloaks and the wolf skins on the velites and standard bearers. Based up for Hanibal at the Gates to match the rest of my Romans.

These add fifteen figures to this year's painting totals. Next up a unit of Oscan/Campanian hoplites also for Hanibal at the Gates.












Sunday, January 5, 2020

Unlikely Allies - Saga Campaign Game at Mike C's



Yesterday a group of us got together at my friend Mike's place to play another game of Saga in Mike's Crusades campaign. This battle used a scenario mike called 'unlikely allies'. I was paired up with Greg, running another Crusades army against John and Paul both with Mongol armies. The main concept was to destroy the enemy while achieving more prestige points than your ally. Capturing the camels was also wort some points but other than shooting them, we all ignored the camels and went for each other's throats.

The Mongols, John and Paul. John brought a war drummer, in my opinion the best heroic unit in Saga, two units of hearthguards, two units of warriors and a unit of levy archers. Paul brought four units of hearthguards and two units of warriors.





Expecting hordes of mounted Mongols to sweep down upon me like a cold wind off the Russian steppes, I set up to hunker my infantry down in some hard, un-burnable cover. My cavalry positioned on my right flank, in the middle of the battlefield prepared to support Greg against Paul's massive onslaught of hearthguard cavalry. At the end, Greg needed no help. He was a force from start to finish this day.

After deploying in the hard cover, John's warlord advanced out in front of his force. I charged it with my mounted warriors, backed by most of my Saga dice abilities. I was able to exhaust the warlord and drive it off, but could not finish it. The hubris of the warriors was met by a counter-charge from John's Warriors and Hearthguards. Combined they were able to eliminate the warriors in detail. The warriors gave as well as they got, taking out a unit of Hearthguards and a good portion of John's mounted warriors in trade.

In the middle, my hearthguards were busy trying to eliminate the enemy archers and war drummer. They gutted the archers, but the war drummer proved resilient and avoided elimination after the first and second charges. Each time my hearthguard being nibbled away by John's mounted archers little by little.

Finally I launched my secret weapon, unarmed, unarmored peasants! They proved to be tougher than they looked. After receiving 13 casualties across three separate melees, they finally lost their first figure. Much to my chagrin, they passed 12 melee savings rolls in a row. I think they did it to punish me for counting on the saga dice they generate when they die.

Still the emboldened peasants started to rip into the Mongols with religious zeal eliminating first the enemy warlord (having been nearly exhausted fighting the last of my hearthguards), then killing the remaining enemy archers then finally finishing off the war drummer. The fanatical pilgrims killed more enemy than the rest of my combat troops and were the battle's MVPs for sure.

In the end, their  efforts were not enough. Greg out did my efforts fighting and eliminating the more prestigious hearthguard-based army commanded by Paul. John, out-did his ally by enough prestige points to end up the big winner of the day even in a losing battle. Fun scenario, great day with friends. Thanks to Mike for organizing it.








Thursday, January 2, 2020

28mm Late-War British Weapons Teams (2)

Here are my first completed figures of 2020. Sixteen figures making up a Vickers HMG .50-cal gun, two 2" light mortars and four two-man Bren gun teams.

This is a true mixed bag of manufacturers. The Vickers MG is from Warlord Games,  the 2" mortars are from Crusader Miniatures, and the Bren gun teams are from West Wind miniatures. It's fantastic how well all three of these figure lines work together. Additionally I've had equally good luck matching up Artisan 28mm WWI British into this mix of manufacturers.

These were a straight forward paint up done on my Twitch stream over two full and two partial sessions. In addition to my normal block paint and wash, I added some flesh highlights and some highlighting on the gunmetal parts of the Bren teams. I wanted to 'pump up' the quality, but not so much that these figures would look out of place with the rest of my previously painted British WWII figures.

Subject matter on my painting table right now is all over the map as I try to work up a portfolio of painted figures on my Instagram page to show people what things I like to paint. Next up on the painting table are some Roman principes and velites.












Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2019 Year in Review

Another great year of Wargaming has come to a close and a new one begins. This is the time of year I look back and see how the year went, and remember how much fun this hobby is. The unit of the year this year is my group of Napoleonic French Marshals shown to the left. It was a close fight between these and some crusades heavy cavalry, but in the end the extra work on the Marshals sets them ahead. They may be some of the best figures I've ever painted.

For painting, the year started off slow with my hobby time in January, February and March mostly spent elsewhere. Towards the end of the year painting volume picked up a lot, but more on that later. Here are the totals for this year:

  • Painted 25/28mm Figures: 138
  • Terrain/Misc Created: 2
  • Stands Re-based: 73
  • Puchased Painted 28mm Figures: 80
  • Purchased Painted 28mm Vehicles: 2
  • X-wing Mods & Re-paints: 4
  • Games Hosted: 9
  • Games Played: 24
28mm Figures were primarily Saga crusades era figures. I finished up the last units for my Eastern Princes army and also completed a Crusader army. In addition to this I did paint up the French Marshals above, a smattering of World War II infantry and several livestock for Saga objectives. For me 2019 was the 'Year of Painting Saga' mostly. I also sneaked in a few cheeky X-wing miniature re-paints and conversions. Something of a guilty pleasure.

Thanks to my Friend Ed, I purchased 80 beautiful French Napoleonic figures. These were re-based as were another 100+ Austrian Napoleonic figures that I purchased last year. My Napoleonic collection is now approaching critical mass for me to start hosting Napoleonic games using my Electronic Brigadier rules. I hope to be putting significant time towards that project in 2020.

Terrain this year was a bit light. After doing the massive Salerno Tobacco Factory project last year I took a step back. Mainly I painted up the Warlord Games stone bridge I got for Christmas in 2018. It's a nice piece and got used in several games already.

For games, again an embarrassment of riches. I hosted nine games at my home or at the club with an additional 24 games played that others hosted. To be gaming more than two times a month is a luxury for sure. Great games. We played a lot of Saga, Iron Cross and locally-written rules this year.  I think my favorite was hosting and playing in some of the Saga mini game days my friend Mike organized (shown to the left holding the QRS). Thanks Mike!


By far the biggest change for me in the hobby this year was me jumping both feet straight into the deep end of the pool and starting to stream painting miniatures on the streaming service Twitch.tv. There aren't many historical miniature painters on Twitch, but there is a very vibrant and healthy community of excellent artists painting other genres of miniatures: Warhammer, Infinity, Malifaux, D&D, etc. The community there has been supportive and welcoming and after a full month of streaming I've started to find some viewers that are interested in historical miniatures. Stream chat during my painting sessions often revolves around historical topics. As of late a lot of people interested in Bolt Action have stopped by as I am currently working on some additional British figures for my WWII British army. If you haven't ever looked at Twitch, it's completely web based and free, come visit me at https://www.twitch.tv/ajswargaming. My current schedule is Tuesday and Thursday early evenings 5-8pm EST, and Sunday late morning, 11am-1pm. I also stream other times when I'm at the painting table. I'd love to see you stop by. Also you can view figures that I've painted on stream by using the Twitch tag here in my blog.




Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas everyone! For those of you with different holidays may yours also be wonderful. 

AJ

Saturday, December 21, 2019

28mm Medieval Archers for Saga

This is a unit of twelve medieval archers for my Saga armies. They are Old Glory figures. I think these might be useful in just about any of the crusades era Saga armies as 'scouts', or in most as levy archers. I chose as many of the figures as I could from those I had with fur armor to hopefully also make these appropriate for use with my Eastern Princes army. Honestly they're so generic I think they'll even work in the Viking Saga universe. 

I painted these on stream in three sessions. One of the good things about recording all your painting is that you get accurate time information about your painting. These figures took 7 hours and 35 minutes to paint, not including cleaning, priming and basing. Call it 8 1/2 hours total, bag to tabletop. I'm quite happy with the quality considering I'm into the unit for 45 minutes per figure! I'm not 100% sure what's up next on the painting table. After all of the holiday parties and family activities I'll sit down and see what strikes my fancy.  Until then, I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas, or other winter solstice holiday.