January 29, 2011

Other Coated Regiments

I decided to post pics of four more painted Warfare Miniatures.

These regiments are Drogheda, Earl of Antrim, Du Cambon, and Lord Castleton. These units and the ones I presented previously are all Jacobite Irish, Williamite Irish, or French troops in Irish service.

January 24, 2011

Red Coated Regiments

Painted up four Warfare Miniatures castings yesterday...

Irish Foot Guards, Lord Grand Prior, Montcashel's, and Dillon Regiments. I particularly like the 'at rest' musketeer... very nice model. These paint well, though as I mentioned the details are a bit fine. I just resorted to a finer brush than normal and had no trouble after that!

January 21, 2011


This is ridiculous. I have the attention span of a four year old. Somehow my desk has gotten out of control. I am working on no less than five miniature projects simultaneously in snatches between working on Beneath the Lily Banners (briefest of breaks as I wait for the uniform guide photos to roll in).

Right now on my desk, I have the following models in various stages of completion:

5 Dark Elves on Cold Ones: My current commission is in it's final stages. All I need to do is paint the banner pole topper (add after gluing the flag on this afternoon) and finish the bases, which will all get done tomorrow - photos next week!

12 Grand Alliance Infantry: The new Warfare Miniatures I previewed a few days ago. I undercoated these models today and will be painting them next week.

40 ACW infantry: These are 40mm Sash & Saber and are part of a brigade I am painting up for Historicon this year. Barry and will be running a variation of Republic to Empire (more news on this later). All I need to do is finish the bases.

60 Warhammer Empire Infantry, 12 Empire Cavalry, and a couple of War Machines: The core of my Empire army, assembled and ready for paint. No idea when I will actually get to start on these.

10-model Mordheim Empire Warband: The inspiration for my Empire army, painted in the black and white colors of Ostland.

9-model Mordheim Bretonnian Warband: Destined to be rivals of my Ostlanders - Assembled and ready for paint.

3 Warhammer Trolls: No idea why... really nice models, though. These were fun to build and one of these days I'm going to paint them just for the fun of it...

12 Battlemechs: Old Ral Partha Battletech minis - my friends and I played this game twenty years ago. Recently my brother found my old collection of more than 80 models in the attic of our parent's house. I'm going to paint up enough models to use for one-off games or even a short campaign to run on off weeks when we can't find time for our normal games.

2 Battalions of French Grand Alliance: The Foundry units I have for sale - thankfully these models are finished and simply sitting on the desk because I really don't have room for them in my display cases.

3 Front Rank British Riflemen: No idea why these are on my desk - I haven't painted any Napoleonics since last summer.

8 Dungeons & Dragons Minis: These are various manufacturers, mostly Reaper characters plus a WotC Owlbear and an Otherworld Troll. The monsters and two of the characters are painted...

1 Reaper Hedgehog Hero: Ok, I really, really don't know why...

January 19, 2011

Warfare Miniatures

Yesterday when I got home there was a parcel waiting for me from the UK containing 14 shiny new castings from Warfare Miniatures!

For those of you who follow the Fighting Talk Forum, this is not groundbreaking news, but I thought I'd show a few here. Taking photos of unpainted metal miniatures is not one of my strengths (turns out it is a different skill than photographing painted ones) so the lighting may not do them justice, but these are very nice models. These are true 28mm (from the sole of their boots to their eyes).

Left to right: Dixon, Warfare Miniatures, Front Rank, Foundry, Old Glory, and Reiver

Overall the anatomy on the figures I received are very good. An effort has been made toward realism so details like buttons, etc. are small, more along the lines of the Napoleonic Perry miniatures I've painted. I will be painting these next week and will post one or two samples, but these are destined for inclusion in the second edition of Beneath the Lily Banners so I can't show too many! You can see lots of samples painted by Barry Hilton in the League of Augsburg gallery.

One of the great things about this line is the variety that will be available:

First Release List
Likely end Jan - Mid Feb 2011.
Guide price £6.00 for pack of 5 models

1. Musketeers firing line
2. Musketeers at rest
3. Musketeers marching shouldered musket
4. Musketeers advancing fixed plug bayonet
5. Pikemen standing
6. Pikemen marching
8. Command standing
9. Command advancing
10. Grenadiers
11. Foot: Mixed poses 1
12. Foot: Mixed poses 2
13. Casualties

A total of 65 different poses in the first release. Sets 11 & 12 have a variety of officers, sergeants, pikemen and musketeers to fill gaps and add variety. Following the first release will be the artillery which will include guns, crew, and limbers and the third release will be the horse which should also include dragoons, both mounted and on foot.

On the subject of Beneath the Lily Banners, we are almost ready to send it to the printer. The layouts are finished with the exception of one chapter which is the sample game - weather in Scotland has conspired against us to delay the battle. All of the chapters are headed into a final round of editing. In addition to all of the eye candy you would normally expect from our books, there will be six pages featuring single models from more than seventy infantry battalions to serve as a uniform guide and five or six pages dedicated to painting models by the artists who turned them out (including me). We are painting the models for these pages now. I hope to wrap up the cover art this weekend. It never ceases to amaze me how much work goes into one of these books. It seems like we have have 'nearly finished' for months... stay tuned!

January 14, 2011

Men of Ostland

I am assembling the troops mentioned in my previous post when I get spare time. Last year, I built a warband for Mordheim and painted the models in the colors of Ostland and I've decided to use the same color scheme for the core of my army. I will probably include units from other provinces as the army grows, but the strong black and white color scheme really appeals to me.

These models will probably make it into the army as a 10-model unit of Free Company at some point. My initial plan is to build a 1250pt force so I can get in some games as soon as possible. The core of my army will be infantry. They will be led by Captain Marko Steelknife and a restrained version of Hans Morgrimmar - kinda like Gandalf in The Hobbit. Hans will grow into The Return of the King version as I add more points! Any remaining points will be put into artillery and cavalry.

Right now I have the following list, subject to change:

Empire Captain - Armor of Metoric Iron, Lance, Warhorse, and Barding (118pts)
Empire Battle Wizard - Level 2, Scroll of Arcane Shielding (100pts)
30 Halberdiers - full command, detachments of 15 Swordsmen and 10 Handgunners (340pts)
20 Handgunners - full command (180pts)
15 Great Swords - full command (180pts)
6 Empire Knights - Musician and Great Weapons (146pts)
Cannon (100pts)
Helstorm Rocket Battery (115pts)

Ok, that's 1254pts, but my normal opponents won't mind. If it would actually be an issue, I can drop a Handgunner from the detachment and add a 5pt magic item to make it 1249pts. Now before anyone rushes off to copy my list, I am a TERRIBLE Warhammer general. I mentioned before, my army is based on units I found rummaging around in my closet rather than what may or may not be the best combination.

For instance, putting full command with the Handgunners unit may be a waste of points because they are unlikely to see much melee and the points may be more useful on magic items, etc. I just think it LOOKS cool to have banners and this unit will be guarding my warmachines which are tough to take out with shooting in 8th edition so they may see some hand to hand combat after all. I think lances are the better option for small cavalry units since they are pretty much one-shot weapons, but I converted a unit of Knights by combining them with a box of Great Swords and again the results LOOK cool. I will just have to trust to their armor saves (and choose my targets carefully) to ensure their 'Strikes Last' penalty for great weapons doesn't see them destroyed before they can employ their +2 strength beyond the first round of combat.

I may not win many games, my army will look great in the deployment zone!

Expanding to 2000pts would include another large block of infantry, a Battle Standard Bearer, an Engineer, boosting the Great Swords to 20, a second Cannon, and another small support unit of some sort like Huntsmen or Pistoliers.

January 12, 2011

Dark Elves on Dinosaurs - Part Three

Done and Dusted! The goal at this stage is to keep the highlights small and sharp. On many areas, such as the scales, this turns into a 'dot' but if the scale is large enough I tried to paint a stripe along the upper third. Both metallics were highlighted with Citadel Mithril Silver and for the most part this was applied to the sharp edges of armor or only the highest peak of the helm.

I probably won't post any more on these until the unit is finished unless someone has specific questions on something I didn't explain. So now off to the other four!

January 11, 2011

Dark Elves on Dinosaurs - Part Two

Here is the second stage of my three-step (mostly - more on that later) painting style on a Dark Elf Knight...

The details are starting to take shape, especially the skin of the Cold One. The object is to highlight each area in such a manner that the original, darker color is still visible in the deepest recesses of the model. With the Foundry system, I often (but not always) simply grab the next color in the triad. For instance, in the blue base coat on the Cold One was Foundry Sky Blue Shade (21A). For my first highlight stage, I used Sky Blue (21B). In this instance, I concentrated on brightening the scales and painting on the different folds on the skin to bring out the texture.

All of the areas were treated in a similar fashion, though I used more of a blending technique on the robe because I wanted the texture to be smooth and contrast with all of the scales and armor this mini has going for it. Creating contrasts is not just about color choices! The effect is subtle, but will really pop when I add the third step.

I don't use a lot of washes in general, but I like the Games Workshop Citadel washes for armor and other metallic areas. The armor got a wash of Asurmen Blue (doesn't seem to show in the photo, but it did make a difference) and the gold areas with Ogryn Flesh. However, the metallics did not get a highlight as this stage. I prefer to add sharp, high contrast highlights on metal and I'll do those on the next step.

I'll post the finished model in a day or so and the whole unit in a few weeks. More Empire stuff is on the way as well as the 40mm ACW regiment I've been working on...

January 8, 2011

A Gathering Storm

Hans Morgrimmar has come to Ostland... the enemies of the men are gathering in the shadows of the realm and the wizard seeks to rally an army to stem the tide. He was turned away from the court of the Elector, but has found an ally in Captain Marko Steelknife who controls one of the outlying garrisons. The small force he leads cannot win the day, but it may hold until greater powers may be stirred to action.

After many years away from Warhammer Fantasy, I have been lured back by the changes in the eighth edition rules. I have always found Games Workshop's miniatures to be stunning and and my brother's deep interest in the game has prompted me to collect a new army to participate in a small campaign this summer. With all of my other projects, it may be necessary to bulk out my force with models from my old collection, but we'll see how it goes.

So how do I go about building an all conquering Warhammer army? Do I study the army lists to find the ultimate combination of troops and characters? No. I dug through my closet and pulled out a stack of plastic box sets I had left over from a few years back - after all a general goes to war with the army he has, right?  So here's what I had:

1 General box
1 Battle Wizard box
3 State Troops boxes
3 State Handgunners boxes
1 Archers box
1 Knightly Orders boxes
1 Great Cannon
1 Pistoliers box

Yeah, I had that many unused boxes (in some cases unopened - the boxes still had the shrink wrap on them). I also have a few spare sprues of Archers and Great Swords left over from a Mordheim project. So that's the core of my army! A mounted Captain, two Battle Wizards, 30 Halberdiers, 30 Handgunners, 10 Archers, 8 Knights, 5 Pistoliers, and a Great Cannon. I'm going to have a look through my old collection and see which models may fit in with the new ones.

By the way, that's the Grey Wizard Hans Morgrimmar. He's a conversion using the Empire Battle Wizards box. The hood is made of green stuff and the staff is an off cut from a Forest Goblin Spider Rider. He is officially the first model of my new army, painted this afternoon. Posts on this army will be made as units are finished, but I have a lot on my plate so stay tuned!

January 6, 2011

Dark Elves on Dinosaurs!

I have a few commissions lined up so far this year, and the first is a small unit for Warhammer Fantasy - Dark Elf Knights mounted on Cold Ones (the Dinosaurs I plugged in the title for those who are more grounded in reality). Being Games Workshop, these models are superbly sculpted and a fun diversion from my normal projects.

I thought I'd take the occasion for a little 'work in progress' series of posts and ramble on a bit about how I paint...

I use a black undercoat for all of my work and normally go for Citadel Chaos Black spray paint.It takes a bit of practice to get consistent results with any spray paint, but I HATE painting undercoats with a brush. If you're not used to using spray paint to undercoat your models, it's always best to apply two light coats rather than one heavy one to avoid obscuring the detail. The Citadel spray paint gives a very smooth finish and shrinks a bit as it dries which helps in 'avoiding obscuring the detail'.

Some artists work on one area at a time, finishing each location or color before moving on to the next. Rather than this focused approach, I paint the entire model with the darkest tone of each color I'm going to be using. I do this for a couple of reasons. First, this gives me an idea of what the finished model will look like. If I don't like a color combo at this stage, I probably wont like it when it's finished! Second, if I accidentally throw color where it doesn't belong, it's much easier to fix than it would be if I had carefully blended a neighboring color. Finally, I normally work on three to five models at a time and it is much quicker to use the same color on the group than painting models individually. The main thing I am trying to accomplish with this stage is clean, neat blocks of color with thin black lines (the undercoat) separating the different materials (the harness from the monster, for instance).

I typically employ the Foundry three stage paints (Unless noted below, all colors in these posts are Foundry), but I sometimes use Citadel and Vallejo as well. In this instance, I drybrushed the Cold One with Charcoal Black (34B). I drybrushed all of the armor and other metal bits with Citadel Boltgun Metal. I painted the head and underbelly of the Cold One with Sky Blue Shade (21A) and then began to pick out individual scales with the same color, creating a pattern similar to that of a Blue Monitor Lizard. I used Black (34A) to pick out some of the scales in a similar fashion on the head to create a general transition between the head and neck. The monster's teeth spines, and claws were painted with Boneyard Shade (9A). The harness and saddle were painted with Bay Brown (42B).

Turning my attention to the rider, I already mentioned the armor. I picked out individual plates with Citadel Shining Gold. The chainmail the rider is wearing is trimmed in leather which I painted Spearshaft Shade (13A). The robe was painted with Royal Purple Shade (19A).

My next step is the middle tones which will start to bring this thing to life. For those who prefer less fantastic subjects, hang in there - my next commission is a 48-model TYW unit! I'm also three command models away from presenting my first finished 40mm ACW regiment.

January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Wanted to get in a shot for the first of the year. Hopefully 2011 will see an increase in activity here on the blog. I'm working on a new design for my main website that will incorporate the blog, making the two sites more compatible. The blog will take the place of the "what's new" page and will often link to the galleries, articles, and other features of the main site.

Another trip to Historicon is being planned for this summer and details of the new projects will appear as the year unfolds. There may be a Republic to Empire Weekender planned for 2011 in Hampton Roads, Virginia as well - more news here, of course, when plans are finalized. I have a plethora of projects planned, including more details about my 40mm ACW project (photos of my first finished unit coming soon), the start of a pair of armies for Beneath the Lily Banners built primarily from the new Warfare Miniatures line, the addition of some Perry Dragoons to my French Napoleonic army (got two boxes from Santa), and a return to Warhammer Fantasy with a brand new Empire army. I'm sure there will be others...

I am hoping to include new articles here and on the main site on painting, modeling, and other topics. The second edition of Beneath the Lily Banners will be sent to the printer soon (and other publishing projects are already in the queue). I am doing some painting commissions this year and will place photos of these projects as they progress and some freelance artwork, starting with the logo for the previously mentioned Warfare Miniatures...

Happy New Year!