Tuesday, June 22, 2021

28mm Roman Mounted Officers

These are six mounted Roman officers that I've recently completed. Four are mounted to be used with my Hannibal at the Gates Republican Roman army and two will be used with the Saga Age of Hannibal rules. In all honesty I probably could have mounted them all the same way and used any for either set of rules as all are on two inch circular bases. 

These are Old Glory figures. Usually Old Glory figures have good facial expressions, but several of these figures have very rough facial features. Either the casting is too soft, or they were sculpted to look quite ape-like. Either way I've done my best to make them look as human as possible considering the sculpts.

These two will be used for Saga Age of Hannibal. I'm particularly happy with how the fur came out on the cape. This was done with several different applications of various shades of GW Contrast paints. Quick, easy and looks great.






Two of the Hannibal at the Gates figures.

The final two figures.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

2021 Basing & Re-Basing Part 6 - Napoleonic French Cavalry

More progress on the 2021 Re-Basing project. These two units of French Napoleonic cavalry were purchased on 2020 and kept in their original shipping boxes for my move to my new home. Now that I can laser-cut bases, I've mounted them up for use with my Electronic Brigadier rules as well as for use with my friend Charlie's rules, Napoleon's Rules of War.  Both of these were Ebay purchases from one of the usual suspects from China.

This unit of Hussars didn't fare very well in shipping to me originally, and suffered additional damage in the move. Nearly all of the riders were knocked off the horses. Several of the pelise coats were also dislodged and there was a lot of chipped paint - mostly the black areas. It's obvious that these are primed black and any black areas are simply left in primer. They've been re-glued and retouched as well as based up. Even with the repairs, it's a sharp looking unit.

The chasseurs fared much better during shipping and the move. Minimal touch-ups were required although I did have to re-glue on the standard. The way the figure is holding it I'm expecting this to be a problem in the future. Next time it gets knocked off I think I'll replace the standard's shaft with something long enough to have two points of contact on the model for strength.

Eight more bases in the 're-based' totals for 2021.

Friday, June 18, 2021

2021 Basing & Re-Basing Part 5 - Macedonian Phalanx #2 & 3

Six more bases of Macedonian pike phalanx. These are also from a large Ebay purchase I made last year. I got into a bit of a groove on these next six stands, finally figuring out an efficient way to loose the figure from the metal bases they were originally mounted on. These are now based up as a pike wing and a smaller two-stand pike division for Hannibal at the gates.  


The silver shields wing. These came with plain silver shields. I added homemade Macedonian star transfers to them.


The brown-coat division. These all have leather armor instead of linen. I particularly like that a few of the pikemen are wearing soft hats instead of helmets. Definitely a second-rate unit.

Not much more to say on these. I'm happy to have them tabletop ready.

Re-canting GW Contrast Paints

Anyone who has EVER used a wash or paint made by Games Workshop knows how criminally bad the Citadel paint pots are. They don't close properly, fall over, get completely gunked up with dried on paint and often cause you to waste more of the product in them than you get to use. It's almost like they're designed to cause you to waste the paint in them so you'll have to buy more sooner.

I've been amassing a nearly complete set of GW Contrast paints recently. At over $7.00 a pot, that's an investment I don't want to keep in the crappy GW paint pots. 

Per the advice of several on-line and YouTube 'experts', I picked up some generic dropper bottles and small funnels off of Amazon. Fifty of each totaled about $15. If I save two pots worth of paint with this project I'm at break even. Also the convenience of dropper bottles will save me time at the painting table as well and will make using these paints in my airbrush a LOT easier. 

To re-cant the collection of bottles shown above took me about two hours. Not an insignificant amount of time. I had to be careful to fully mix each pot before re-canting. I also added agitators to every dropper bottle while I was at it. Here you can see the contrast paints in their new dropper bottles. My washes are also re-canted, but not shown.

One saving grace is that the labels on the GW pots are put on with a glue that does enable re-using of the labels. By carefully peeling them off they're easily re-applied to the new dropper bottles. Time will tell, but my initial impression is that the labels seem like they'll stick permanently to their new containers. If they don't, a quick wrap with clear tape will solve that problem.

I think the only thing left to do is for me to make up a good sample chart of the colors. The names, aren't very recognizable to a historical miniatures painter, so I'll need a chart.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

1-48 Tactic Games - Part 2

I've hosted two more 1-48 Tactics games this week. The first one was for my friends George and Dave. Dave arrived before George and we played a quick game with him running the British and me running the Germans. Dave beat me with a head-shot at the end. 

George arrived and he and Dave played three games. Dave came out ahead 2-1. Both players picked up the rules quickly and play was fast-paced.


The second session was Rob and Ralph. Both players played cautiously, with Rob using suppression fire and opportunity fire liberally. This caused this game to be quite a chess match. In the end some of the 'random spray fire' from suppression took out Ralph's last soldier for the win. This is a 'long shot' scenario requiring a single D-6 roll of 6 on two successive turns.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

28mm Finnish Specialists

I'm heading to Adler Hobby this weekend to play some Bolt Action Firefight. I thought it would be fun to take some of my newly painted Finnish up and get them on the table. After looking over the Firefight PDF, I realized that I really wanted a medium machine gun and/or a sniper. I also didn't have a particularly great officer figure painted up. 

Rummaging through my Finnish lead I found everything I needed: one Maxim machine gun team, a charismatic officer and a sniper with observer assistant. All of the figures are Warlord miniatures. I tossed them on the painting table and got them done. Nothing fancy as time was of the essence. I primed them in Panzer gray, then gave them a quick coat of Basillicum Gray contrast paint for the coats and Black Templar contrast paint for the dark grey pants. The rest of the work was done using traditional paints. Once done I gave the coats some highlights with neutral gray just to make them pop a bit more. I painted all six of these figures while watching some of my club mates play a game of Saga age of Hannibal over Zoom. What a GREAT evening. About two and a half hours to paint up all six figures with maybe another twenty minutes to base them up.

The Maxim MG with it's ski bipod. I've chosen to leave the skis on the bipod as I don't think they took them off in the summer, preferring the 'float' the skis gave over muddy and marshy ground. These figures are for the Lapland war, so I've based them on spring/summer bases.

The sniper and his observer assistant. Nothing fancy, just good solid figures from Warlord. The sniper I believe would be using the excellent Mosin-Nagant rifle - still considered one of the most accurate rifles of the war.


Finally, the officer. He's carrying a pistol. It looks like a revolver, but I'd expect he'd more likely be carrying a Lahti L-35 semi-automatic pistol. The only likely revolver would be a Russian Nagant M1895 - a trophy from the Winter war? 

I like this figure a lot with his fur-collared overcoat. I was tempted to paint it in black leather - possibly a gift from a German officer during the Continuation war, but I didn't want him to look too German. In the end I opted for good old grey wool. Period photographs show a lot of the Finnish officers wearing these.

Six figures to add to the 2021 painting totals.

2021 Basing & Re-Basing Part 4 - Macedonian Phalanx #1

More re-basing. This unit is four bases of pike phalanx mounted up for Hannibal at the Gates. I purchased these figures as part of a larger lot which will eventually make up ten or eleven bases. The original painter based them on individual metal bases. Each figure was glued on with some sort of nasty industrial construction adhesive. Removing the figures from the original bases is proving to be quite difficult and tiresome. Still I must press onward. This is the first of most likely three updates that will include figures from this purchase. 

Counting this as four stands re-based....although it should count for a lot more considering the amount of work it took!

Thursday, June 10, 2021

2021 Basing & Re-Basing Part 3 - 28mm Finnish WWII

The third installment of the 2021 Basing and Re-Basing series consists of figures that I've painted for my 28mm Finnish Continuation War & Lapland War army. These are mostly Warlord figures with some Artisan figures mixed in. For rules these will likely be used in Iron Cross, Bolt Action, 1-48 Tactics and Chain of Command games. For WWII Skirmish our club is all over the map as far as rules go. Thank goodness none of these rule sets have much in the way of requirements for basing. 

The Boffors 37mm AT gun was a staple for the Finns starting with the Winter War. Due to shortages they continued to use these throughout the conflict. Ineffective against anything much heavier than a T-26, the Finns still found them useful. I'll also be including additional German-supplied AT guns later on in the construction of this army. I modified the sitting loader figure by putting an ammunition crate under his behind instead of trying to cram him onto the gun's trails. 

The LMG gunner and his assistant. This figure is carrying the Lahti-Saloranta M/26 LMG. It's a nice touch that Warlord includes this figure in their Finnish infantry pack instead of a generic MG-34/42. Cheers to them for that. I can always supplement the LMGs in this force with German figures from my dead lead collection as the Finns received plenty of helmets, webbing, canteens, etc. from the Germans during the Continuation war. A figure unique like this one is much harder to come by.

The Lieutenant and his runner/assistant. The Finnish junior officers preferred the rifle to an SMG, unlike other armies. SMG gunners were considered to be 'assault' role soldiers. These two figures are place holders for now, and will likely end up being regular riflemen as the force continues to evolve. I'm sure I can find a figure with an appropriate uniform and hat down the road.



Infantry squad number one. Lapland and Continuation war Finnish squads had 2-3 SMGs with the balance being riflemen. I'm including one rifleman with a Molotov Cocktail in each of these squads. This squads figure comes from the Warlord Finnish Infantry boxed set. Ideally I will eventually want to find a rifleman waving to be the NCO in each squad, but for now the SMG gunner to the right will do as the NCO for this squad.


Infantry squad number two. Another SMG figure that sure looks like he's the NCO. I might just have to roll with this, we'll see. The Molotov Cocktail rifleman is a re-purposed French resistance fighter. Based on period photos, regulation headgear wasn't strictly enforced and uniforms in the field often were improvised. He'll do just fine for me.


Next up in the re-basing project are over 180 Macedonian pikemen that I purchased on Ebay. That update may be a while further down the road before it's ready to publish. For now this will be the final installment of the re-basing updates. Hopefully my next post will me more games, or newly-painted figures.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

2021 Basing & Re-Basing Part 2 - Saga Age of Hannibal Figures

This group of figures includes everything I've painted in the past 14 months for Saga Age of Hannibal that I've just completed basing. When I started painting for Age of Hannibal I wasn't sure which army or armies I wanted to play, so I started with several mercenary units from the back of the rule book. A couple of these can do double duty in some of the armies as non-mercenary units as well. 

This first unit consists of eight Ligurian warriors. These can serve as the Ligurian mercenaries in several armies, but I would also feel completely comfortable fielding them as contingent warriors in a Carthaginian force. I'm sure Hannibal recruited plenty of these guys on his trip through the Alps. These are Old Glory miniatures with LBMS shield transfers.

The next group of figures are eight Samnite warriors. These are Old Glory figures, with Aventine shields and homemade shield transfers. This unit was a failed experiment in using GW Contrast paints for the tunics. The Old Glory figures just don't have enough texture on the main tunics to allow the Contrast paints to work well. I also was not happy with the vibrancy of the colors. I toned them down a bit with an additional Army Painter Soft Tone wash, but still, I do not like these even half as much as my traditionally painted Samnite Colorful Legion units painted using traditional methods.

Next up a unit of eight Balearic Slingers cast by Gripping Beast. This unit I consider a successful application of GW contrast paints. With the exception of the flesh, these figures are painted entirely with GW Contrast paints. To get the more muted ancient tones in the cloth I blended most of the primary colors with some of the browns, and then thinned to my preference with glazing medium. I probably could have used GW contrast medium but I don't own any.

This unit, the dreaded Cretan Archers. These were originally painted up for Hannibal at the Gates back in 2003. This was prior to that rule set's de-emphasizing of skirmish troops. Since I had five stands for HATG and only really need a couple of stands now, I re-based these for Saga Age of Hannibal where they will see use in several of my armies, particularly the Romans. These are Old Glory figures. I un-based three stands from my HATG force comprised of three figures each and I found a tenth in my 'dead lead' collection already painted up. This was probably as a result of a previous re-basing. I only need 8 for Age of Hannibal, but I based up all ten. With a couple of command figures they can press into duty as a 12-man levy bow unit if needed.

The final unit in the group are twelve Gaul archers. These are from Warlord Games SPQR line from their 'Tribal Archers' box. These are resin single-piece figures that I quite enjoy painting despite their light weight. These were painted primarily with traditional paints although the hair and furs were done with GW Contrast paints. Learning when to use the contrast paints and when not to I believe is the BIGGEST part of the learning curve with these new paints. They are not a one-size-fits-all solution for us historical painters.

Next up, figures I based up for my 28mm Finnish skirmish army.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

2021 Basing & Re-Basing Part 1 - Hannibal at the Gates Figures

Since I moved in 2020 my laser engraver has been out of commission until a couple of weeks ago. I have continued to paint, but without the laser I've had no bases to put my painted figures on. The cobbler's children had no shoes. With the completion of the construction of the new hobby room and the set-up of the laser, I've finally been able to cut myself some bases and start to get the majority of the figures I've painted in the past 14 months based up. This post is the first installment showing the completed tabletop-ready figures. This will include all of the figures painted up for my Macedonian and Roman armies for Hannibal at the Gates

The first group top left are the Macedonians I painted for an upcoming campaign my friend Bob is running. Left is a close-up of the command figures, all from Warlord Games SPQR line.

This group of two bases of Thureophoroi were painted up to match my earlier painted Thorakatai to form into a single four-stand division for Hannibal at the Gates use.

This group of two more stands I painted more closely to the box art on Warlord Games SPQR box. I didn't like their bright white stripe, so I went with a medium grey instead. The capes of the musician and officer are done using GW Contrast paints.

The final group are my favorite of this batch, the Companion cavalry. These are Aventine miniatures. The brown horses were glazed with contrast paints, as are the helmet blumes and banner. The balance of the figures are painted using traditional methods.

For the Romans, I based up a single 'field artillery' division for Hannibal at the gates. Two Roman Scorpions and two bases of 'Romanized' Samnites. In reality these could be any lesser Italiote types: Samnites, Campanians, etc.

The artillery bases are from Warlord Games Hail Cesar line and are lead castings - my preference. The pointing officer is an Old Glory figure pressed into service as I pinched the original figure to command one of my Praetorian Guard units a while back.

These packs come with the baskets of bolts - a nice touch that allows you to make some very nice scenic bases with the figures and field pieces.

The Soldier/Peltast stands for the artillery guards were painted fairly quickly. These were meant to be a bit 'scuzzy'. Such 'soldiers' would be indentured types, not quite up to becoming Extrodanarii or Legionaries. Either they're slaves, conscripts or lesser peoples trying to earn their way into one of the better assignments in the army. These are Old Glory figures pulled from my dead lead box with Aventine Roman scuta substituted for the shields.


 That's it for this installment. Next up, figures based for for Saga, Age of Hannibal.