February 26, 2011

TYW February 05

I'm going to fall short of having all 48 infantry painted in February (blast), but I did manage 30 (my weekend is busy and I doubt I'll get much painting done).

I am hoping to have the remaining 18 models finished by this time next week... just realized I forgot to highlight the black on the pikemen... sigh... I'm off to fix that now and I hope to at least get all of the shot transferred to their permanent bases this weekend.

February 18, 2011

TYW February 04

Most of the muskets are finished - in fact the remaining figures are sergeants, drummers, etc...

The permanent bases are in the mail. The client is using a set of rules that requires figure removal, so I am using a combination of bases for each flank of shot. This will give the best of both schools of wargaming - the great appearance of vignette stands in the front of the unit (at least until casualties mount up) and the flexibility to remove casualties. The pike will be mounted in a similar manner.

Not sure if I can finish the rest by the end of the month like I wanted, but I should be close!

February 8, 2011

TYW February 03

More reinforcements for the shot... these are not their permanent bases (and probably not the final arrangement), just something to keep my cats from knocking them over as they explore the table every morning!

I like how these are turning out - a motley assortment that still looks like a unit. Hope to have the other 'sleeve' finished this week... more pics Friday!

February 6, 2011

Empire General on Griffon

One of the things I normally avoided back when I played Warhammer on a regular basis was big monsters. Tying up so many points in something destined to draw fire from every piece of artillery or destructive spell on the board seemed a risky tactic. This time around I wanted to include a character on one of these awe inspiring beasts, possibly if only to keep such things away from my rank and file troops for a few turns.

The only real option for the Empire seems to be a griffon unless you want to field Karl Franz on a dragon. While there are several metal versions available, I really wanted to use the new plastic model designed for the High Elf army in the Island of Blood box. A brief search on e-bay netted me the bits without the need to buy the whole set. The package arrived last week and I set out for what I thought would be a simple rider swap...

Ok, maybe not so simple. As a kit designed for beginners, Games Workshop designed the bits to go together with a minimum amount of fuss which means a minimum amount of pieces and limited options for someone looking for a quick conversion. Most of the rider is molded as part of the mount. Fortunately I am not afriad of taking clippers to a model and in short order, I had my griffon ready for my character.

There is a small area on the monster's side where the former rider's leg was, but most of this will be covered by the new rider. My new rider is based on the plastic Empire General kit, however, remember the bit about this not being as easy as I anticipated? All of the Empire cavalry models I own have relatively straight legs, but the way the rider of the griffon sat his mount requires bent legs. To get my Empire general to fit properly, I needed go at it with the clippers again. It was tricky to remove the calves and leave the decorative armor on the knees intact, but by carefully cutting behind the knee first I was able to keep the armor intact.

After a test fit with the torso, I discovered I need to twist the torso slightly to the left to make sure my rider's arm meets up with the only element I left of the original rider: the fist on the reins. I used a modeling saw to separate the hips from the upper torso.

After reassembling all of the dismembered bits of the rider, all I needed was a small amount of greenstuff to fill in the gaps for the thighs and the wrist. I used small extra bits of equipment to cover the remaining rough areas on the griffon. The head came from the Empire Knights command sprue - I wanted the rider to look as though he were bellowing a challenge rather than stoically riding into battle like the heads from the general kit.

The final decision was which weapon to arm my character and I decided on a greatsword. If I decided not to kit out the model with a magic weapon, the greatsword will give the general a formidable Strength 6 - even though he has to strike last, the griffon gets four attacks plus the Great Stomp attack that will go off on initiative. If I decide to arm the man with an enchanted weapon, swords are by far the most numerous on the Empire list and will give me the most options.

In any case, here is the finished model...

I am looking forward to painting this mini - with everything else going on, it may take a few weeks, but I'll find time to fit this in.

February 5, 2011


Just noticed I reach 100 followers (thanks, Mike)! The blog has been up for a little more than a year and averages 3700 page views a month and will crest 50,000 page views later this month. I am planning on redesigning my 'other' website (which has logged over 800,000 page views since I started tracking them in 2006) to more closely mesh the two and hopefully present an even better place to waste time, whether you're into historical gaming or Warhammer.

Thanks for stopping by!

February 4, 2011

Warhammer Watchtower

These kits have been available for a while now, but as I have been mainly immersed in the historical side of the hobby for the last few years, I didn't bother with them. With my return to Warhammer, I decided it was ok to have a bit of gothic, skull encrusted scenery so I dropped the cash for one of fortified manor kits, which includes the sprues to build all of fantasy buildings GW currently offers plus loads of fences in one box. I love building plastic models, so as soon as I got home, I eagerly dug into the box. Sorting through the pile of sprues, I selected the three that go to the watchtower kit and sat down to have a go...

Assembly is pretty straight forward - I didn't even bother with the instruction booklet. There are all kinds of ways model conversions, especially if you choose parts freely from both kits and are not afraid of talking a hobby saw to them, but I decided to build the watchtower as it was designed for my first go. Games Workshop's kits are a joy to build as they normally fit precisely as they are intended, with minimum need for trimming or gap filling. Many pieces are designed to camouflage the joins as well. The main part of the tower comes in two sub-assemblies and I used the ancient method of employing rubber bands to ensure a tight fit.

Once the stages were dry I glued them together and assembled the stairs.

The corners on these kits are beveled to ease construction and aid in getting a square fit, but it's best to check and I used the grid on my cutting board to make sure (did this with the main pieces too - just didn't think to photograph the process).

There are piles of extras to customize your tower. I chose the tiny shack for the top and the crazy chimney. An extra window or two and a lantern by the front door complete the tower. There are tons of options, but I decided to keep things fairly tame.

Not a lot of historical uses for this kit with all the spikes and skulls - maybe in some pulp style scenarios or Teutonic Transylvanian setting - but it will work perfectly with my Warhammer Empire army! Not sure when I'll get the chance to paint this, but it was fun to build.

February 1, 2011

TYW February 01

February is destined to be the month of the Thirty Year War! I have a commission to paint a massive 48-model Bavarian tercio and a handful of mounted officers and of course I'm not going to miss the opportunity for some cheap blog updates by posting a running WIP. Here are the first bold three...

These miniatures are from The Assault Group and this is the first time I've painted any of their models. I didn't even know they made Renaissance minis, being familiar with their more modern line, but these are sculpted by Nick Collier so that was all I need to know to get excited about this project.

The Thirty Year War is a very colorful period, with most of the units lacking true uniforms. Indeed many are grabbed in civilian clothes modeled after popular military styles. Coats and breeches can be of almost any color and in any combination. My challenge is to include this variety while trying to keep the unit from looking like a troop of harlequins!

There are a few tricks I use when painting such rabble. The first is to stick to muted tones - terracotta rather than red, gold instead of yellow, etc. The majority of the unit will also include earth tones mixed in nearly every model which will provide a blend of tans and browns across the whole to help unify the different colors. When I do choose to paint a figure with a gold coat and red breeches, he may be placed beside another fellow in red breeches and a brown coat so the screaming combination will be blurred by his friend. Finally, most of the equipment - bandoleers, scabbards, musket rests, etc. - will be painted the same so they look as if they were issued from the same stores. Maybe one in six will be different to still keep the campaign look.

So, we'll see how this goes! I'll post updates every couple of days. I have a few others projects running that I'll break in with as well, but my goal is to have the infantry finished by the end of the month... 48 models in 28 days...