Sunday, 20 May 2018

King Richard III Retinue 28mm Wars of the Roses

Today myself, Chris and Dave went to the Partizan Wargames show near Newark. It's a very good show, and the venue is the same as the Hammerhead one which was a few weeks ago - so naturally I was pleased with what is now a familiar place with plenty of light, cafeteria facilities etc.

Being only thirty minutes away, it resulted in us getting home before 3pm and I decided to set up my painting station in the garden and make a start on the figures I bought (painting figures on the same day I'd purchased them would have been unheard of a few months ago!). Clearly a sign I'm getting back on top of things.

Anyway, while the undercoats were drying I dug out my Wars of the Roses Richard III retinue and took some photos. As with the Warwick one they're all Perry's plastics and still a part of the eBay haul. I did have to chop and readjust some of the arms and legs, as the previous owner had been a bit overzealous with the glue! Something I was guilty of with my first set of Victrix Napoleonic many moons ago.

I'm really pleased with these, and how the Wars of the Roses project is coming along in general. Next time, some Burgundian Pikemen perhaps?

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Wars of the Roses, Earl of Warwick Retinue 28mm.

I had a painting commission for some 28mm Perry Miniatures Wars of the Roses, and found myself with some leftover figures. This prompted an eBay search and the purchase of  three hundred assembled but unpainted plastics for the meagre sum of seventy quid. I decided this would be my 2018 project, plus I could fit it in with the customer's requirement of different WotR retinues. Followers of this blog may recall that I had some lovely Perry's Plastics a few years back which attracted the eye of Wargames Illustrated. It also attracted a buyer who gave me what I considered a silly amount of money for them. That said, there's part of me that wished I'd never sold the collection.

Anyway, it turned out to take a lot longer to begin this project due to my health issue and being parked on the sofa with a hot water bottle stuck to my stomach whilst staring at the ceiling. Luckily the worst is now passed and I'm back into a regular routine of painting and being upright again.

I decided to base them for the Hail Caesar! ruleset and the middle ages supplement. They're going to be an average retinue size of forty figures, archers on the wings with three per 4cm x 4cm base (to give a loose formation) and then the centre consisting of men at arms (four figures per 4cm x 4cm base) and one base of foot knights/command.

The command base with standard will be interchangeable, which is why I didn't apply any heraldic badges on the figures. For instance it means I can swap the standard of Edward IV for Richard Duke of York as both retinues had the same livery colours.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Hammerhead Show 2018

Today's haul from the Bring and Buy at the Hammerhead show near Newark saw a huge increase in my 15mm Napoleonic collection. This pile of 424 figures cost me just £45. Primarily Old Glory with a few minifigs early Austrian artillery thrown in. The Portuguese will serve nicely for the Peninsula war scenarios Chris will be putting on.

I'm slightly pained that I forgot to take my digital camera, but running on just two hours sleep meant that I was likely to leave something behind. I only just remembered to print out the tickets, which I did while contemplating yet another torrential downpour out the back window. The flooding around here can be ridiculous, as when I witnessed the canal boat stranded in the middle of a farmer's field some weeks back.

Nevertheless the turnout at the Show itself was very good, despite it being rescheduled from earlier this year (again due to weather conditions - snow that time). I must say I've wondered if Newark hasn't experienced an overkill of Wargames shows with three situated there over the year: Hammerhead, Partizan and Other Partizan. The difference with Hammerhead is that it gives a good balance of trade stands and participation games. The latter being a successful feature of American shows apparently. It's nice that it gives the customer an all round experience of gaming and socializing, rather than just trying to empty your wallet.

Speaking of which, I've noticed that as I get older I'm more inclined towards a degree of comfort (even at a Wargames show). Some of the first things on my mind when stepping through the doors these days are "can I get a cup of tea?" and "I hope the toilets are decent!!" I can imagine Napoleon himself uttering these same sentiments on the way to St Helena. Thankfully Hammerhead comes through with the goods. Excellent facilities including two Cafe areas with plenty of seating, and bathrooms suited even for an Imperial posterior!

Monday, 16 April 2018

Salute, 2018

Salute 2018 came and went. In all a very enjoyable show, if only a little exhausting. It's quite a different experience when running a game or stall and I'll be looking forward to being an average punter at Hammerhead and Partizan.

The "Druid" participation game we put on for Wargames Illustrated was enjoyed by both young and old. The table (by Dave Marshall) attracted a lot of attention in itself. As mate Chris mentioned, it was probably the busiest of all the games. At one point the prospective players were about three deep on all sides.

I won't publish too many photos, as I'm sure others will be putting up many of the same. Instead I'll just post a few eyecatchers. The amazing warlord aircraft carrier for instance, and the Bolt Action game next to us complete with Stuka's and an amphibious landing. Amazing stuff. Oh yes, and the WW1 replica tank!!

Monday, 9 April 2018

Upcoming Salute 2018 Game for WI

Once again this year myself and club member Chris are travelling down to Salute 2018 to run the Wargames Illustrated participation game. The offering this time is a Celtic Fantasy style skirmish game called "Druid" (not the old board game of the same name!). It involves tribes of fierce warriors led by a druid and champion who fight over resources with which they can weave powerful spells. Each tribe have different special attributes and weapons at their disposal, and certain sacred sites on the board which influence them. You can check out how the board was constructed in the latest issue of Wargames Illustrated (April).

If you're visiting Salute this weekend, drop by and have a go!

Friday, 30 March 2018

Bolt Action and a long overdue blog update!

I haven't updated the blog in many months, mainly due to my ongoing health problem. It had made painting a bit difficult, but now thankfully having had some time off work I'm feeling much better. The other day I decided to celebrate by getting out my Bolt Action Germans and US Infantry. I'd picked up a copy of the second edition rules and wanted to run through them. My work mate had intended to drop by and have a game but the weather that weekend was absolutely atrocious so I thought I'd lay everything out and take some photos (with my new camera! At last! No crappy phone photos!!).

 On top of this I also threw caution to the wind and entered a local Bolt Action tournament that's coming up in a few months. Sheer folly, as I don't usually do well at these things. At least it will inspire me to paint up an army or two, and get some more games in at the club.
 The buildings here are all Sarissa. I wanted to paint them to look heavily damaged, rather than leaving the bare mdf. They are situated on a battlefield after all. I managed this by spraying the models whilst still in the frames, then putting them together and smearing some old used cloths over them that I'd normally use for cleaning brushes.
 The foliage for the hedges etc was railway model litchen, and this stuff from the Easter section in poundstretcher and called "Easter Moss" - one pound a bag, and normally used in crafts to decorate Easter egg nests.
 Anyway, I've got a few other things in the pipeline which I'll post up when I can. Including some painting commissions that are long overdue!

Sunday, 25 June 2017

How to Make 28mm African Huts

I've been putting together some terrain for my Death in the Dark Continent project. A quick internet search for Matabele/Zulu type huts came up with quite a few resin cast ones. Very nice but a bit pricey (ranging from £6 to £15 each). Having already shelled out quite a bit on a Zanzibar slaver army, explorers and Matabele tribesmen, I wanted to keep my costs down. Next logical step was to make my own. So here's how.......

I bought several polystyrene balls, some plaster of Paris, foamcard, and air drying clay from the local craft shop. Then some hessian sheet and a small hand towel from a bargain shop. All this set me back about £10 and would provide enough for six huts (two large and four medium - a complete village). I started by cutting the balls in half.

Next I cut out some foamcard bases, leaving an extended bit at the front for the entranceway. I PVA glued the dome sections onto the bases and left them to dry for a while.

I cut the hand towel into small rough squares, making sure I snipped off the stitched edges and any embroidered logos.

Then I took the air drying clay and created the entranceways. I started by rolling them into small sausage shapes then flattening them out, then bending them into a small porch.

Again, I put these aside to dry for a while. I created these in the kitchen on a hot day, so everything was drying pretty quickly.

I grabbed a small plastic tray and mixed the plaster of Paris, making sure to fill the tray with water first then add the plaster (this and continued stirring stops it from going too lumpy). Too much water and it'll take ages to dry. Too little and it'll set in seconds!! I made it slightly thick but pourable. Even then I had to move fast due to the warm environment.

I soaked the small bits of towel in the plaster mix, then draped them over the polystyrene domes. Moving and shaping them as I did so. These began to dry within about 15-20 minutes, and were solid within two hours.

I did an undercoat of Tamiya Desert yellow (beware of aerosol on polystyrene!! Any exposed sections will melt due to the adhesive - you can use just artshop acrylics straight from the tube and use a large brush to apply). I next took some watered down dark brown and washed the huts - this brought out the towelling texture quite nicely!

I painted the curved wooden entrance, then added flock to the base.tooke may be happy to leave the huts like this, but I wanted a little bit more detail.

I cut up sections of the hessian sheet and stretched them out a bit to increase coverage and make them seem a bit more ragged. I then soaked them in watered down PVA, draping them over the roof of each hut. I used an old brush to add a bit more PVA to fix them in place properly. I then left everything to dry.