July 5, 2022

Grimjawsopol Musketeer Regiment


I finally managed to finish my second regiment for my oldschool Horse & Musket project. They've actually been painted for a while now, but I just got around to painting the colonel and basing this horde.

This is the Grimjawsopol Musketeer Regiment of the Gran Duchy of Sazir, named for the province in which they are recruited. Colonel Yakov Romanov was appointed to lead these stout lads by Count Aleksandrov. The good colonel accepted the appointment with some trepidation as the Count of Grimjawsopol is known by the peasantry as "Alek the Mad" and the lord has been known to meet out gruesome fates to those who disappoint him. 

The regiment is again shown in summer campaign dress. Most of the officers are in full uniform and reflect that worn by the rank and file during other times—dark green coat with black facings.

The unit is often brigaded with the von Tripdenfel Musketeer Regiment as they also come from the Grimjawsopol province in Sazir (raised privately by Lord Gregor von Tripdenfel).

I'm still toying with rules, but I have a long way to go before I can actually put armies on the table!

Up next on the painting table are an (as yet) unnamed company of Pandour Light Infantry, represented by 16 models and two characters (an officer and drummer). I'm hoping they will quickly join the painted brigade. This small force will be supported by a a full regiment of dragoons (24 models + characters) and a pair of field guns. 

June 27, 2022

Cult Units for Turnip 28

While I've already mentioned The Slug's Lament (last post), I've done a couple of other units to allow myself some flexibility of my forces. The fickle folk of Cist can change Cults between games so it seemed like a good excuse to convert a couple of unique units.

The Lopers of Maudlin Marsh. Stilt walkers of the Maudlin Marsh. Pitiful drunks, they stride into battle tottering this way and that. 

These guys can ignore Dangerous Terrain, which makes them valuable in the fetid swamps of Cist. Other units may include Stilt Spotters which give them a range bonus of 6", making them extremely useful for black powder armies.

Knights of Shellwood. Shields, banners, and shattered lances litter the shells of the ancient knights. They ooze over the battlefield, unstoppable in their advance, an army dedicated to their snails’ pace. The followers of the Knights of Shellwood bring with them their favourite snails to stave off nostalgia. In return for the holiday, these treasured molluscs provide excellent cover for their loving guardians.

Really just picked this unit because I wanted to make the conversion. Your army is extremely slow if following the Cult of the Knights of Shellwood, but units count as being in Defensible Terrain if they haven't moved.

I've got one more model setting on my desk awaiting glue and greenstuff, so I'll have another post soon. I also have the table set up for my first (solo) game and I'll have a battle report when I get through it.

Mr. Biggles bids you good day!

May 29, 2022

Die Schwarze Zwieblegarde

The Black Onion Guard (a reenactor group on holiday in Cist) is my second full Turnip 28 army! They are led by the enigmatic Toff, Dame Plattengesicht.  

They are based on the Cult of the Slug's Lament, which means they gain an extra unit—The Old Guard! This bonus is offset by the fact that the Old Guard and their Toff do not arrive until turn three AND take the field "Tired and Weary" with six panic tokens already in place. This means they may be brittle, but if used properly (or with some luck), they can provide a winning blow!

The Chaff (bow armed skirmishers) shown in the first photo with Lady Plateface are not actually part of the core army. I've painted them in neutral colors (relative to my armies) so I can field them as auxiliaries for either side. 

This stump gun is among my favorite creations for Turnip 28 so far.

I've really enjoyed building and painting things for this weird little universe. It's been a great side project. I'll share more Cult units soon and a tutorial on how I built the board featured in these photos.


April 2, 2022

More Squelchy Warriors for Turnip 28

With these last four models, my first Turnip 28 regiment is finished!

The Bastards of the Quindian 69th...

...and His Most Terrible Carrotness, Master of the Seven Sounds, Toff Lord Saberface!

Finally, here's the whole sodden horde...

I had a blast building and painting this force. My second regiment is already well underway! I'll expand both armies with some of the Cult forces once I can get in a couple of games (I already have several of those units underway as well).

March 30, 2022

The Quindian 69th - More Turnip 28

 My Turnip 28 regiment is filling out nicely! The painting style of chosen for this project is fast and fits well with the style of the game. It's basically black primer with a zenithal spray of Citadel Wraithbone from above, then Citadel Contrast paints. I spend a little more time highlighting faces and hats. Finally, I use several layers of weathering powder of different earth tones, mostly concentrated on the lower third of the model, to blend them into the bases.

These two worthies are my Toadies—lieutenant Snobs, if you will. On the left is Sir Tripdenfel and to the right is Mr. Biggles. Each leads a unit of hapless, but enthusiastic (until the bullets start flying) Fodder:

To add a little more competency (a very little more), I've gone for a unit of Brutes to spearhead my attack...

All of my units are armed with Black Powder weapons, but it's easy enough to declare them as Melee before a game ("What? You thought we were going to give you bullets? Don't be absurd!").

I'm having a blast with this little game. I haven't decided on a specific Cult for the Quindian 69th (and you can choose more than one, shifting between games), but I did design their heraldry!

More to come (my Toff and a unit of Bastards are primed and on the painting desk)! I also only have ten models left to paint for my second regiment of infantry for the Gran Duchy of Sazir!

March 24, 2022

Throwback Thursday - Nile Paddle Steamer

 Maybe not technically a "throwback" post. Last year was dismal for me maintaining the blog, but I had a wedding to help plan, so I had other things on my plate. I wasn't idle on the modeling and painting front - I just didn't have the time to post about things very often. So... Throwback Thursday. As I can, I'll blog about stuff I did last year (mixed in with the new stuff).

First up is a Nile paddle steamer I built for my growing Sudan collection!

This ship was constructed with parts from the Southern Belle kit from Lindberg, but I had to modify things pretty extensively because it's too small for 28mm. The paddle wheel alone is worth the price of the kit!

I was extremely happy with how this build worked out. I'm planning on getting another kit to add a second gunboat at some point. I already have a couple of pirate ships I can press into service as Dhows for a grand encounter on the Nile! I have a small contingent of Royal Marines setting on the desk (and that Nordenfelt Gun see in the last pic) waiting for paint.

I won't drone on about how it was built, but I'll be happy to answer questions. The modifications are mostly balsa and matboard. The sandbags were purchased on Etsy and various other details came from stuff I had lying around.

I'll dig out another project and present it for Throwback Thursday as I have time!

March 20, 2022

Turnip 28 - The Squelchy Wargame

What? My new favorite game. I'm still working on my oldschool imagi-nations project (2nd regiment is two-thirds finished!), but I took a little side trip last week after discovering this wonderful world...

Churned mud and swampland stretches out into the gloom. Thick fog hangs heavy in the air. Rolling barrows loom out of the murk. A strange root writhes underfoot. A thousand years after the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz, the world has fallen into decay. Endless war has led to technology stagnating, and beautiful countrysides have been ground to a thick ruin under the boots of a million dead men.

Now, nothing grows. A bizarre and horrible root covers the land; strangling the life from the trees, poisoning the water, and filling the sky with an acrid mist. Humanity barely endures by harvesting this disgusting tuber. It twists their bodies and minds. It infests their thoughts with divine visions of lost vegetables.

Bizarre religious orders have formed. They stockpile abandoned weapons unearthed by the twisting roots. Marching in column under fluttering banners, brandishing mud-clogged muskets and rusted bayonets, they are cruel parodies of long-forgotten armies on the march.

Gather your troops. Fix bayonets. Devote yourself to the roots.

Turnip 28 is based on the art of Max FitzGerlad (Patreon). The rules for the game were designed by Gaetano Ferrara (from Onepagerules) and are still a work in progress—a living rulebook—though already very playable. There are very few "official" miniatures (yet), and the concept is that you build your own units by combining various plastic historical kits from Perry Miniatures, Warlord, Victrix, Wargames Atlantic, etc.

It was this aspect of the game (and the great artwork) that inspired me to have a go at creating an army. In Turnip 28, your force is called a "regiment" and consists of a number of noblemen known as Snobs. The basic game consists of one Toff (your general) and two Toadies (lieutenants), but you can play with a different number if you like, as long as both sides field the same strength force. Each Snob has one unit (the Toff gets two, 'cause he's the Toff) so for a basic game, you have four units chosen from several different types of infantry, cavalry, and artillery. You can also pick a Cult, which gives you access to unique units and special abilities, but this adds complexity (and maybe some balance issues). Your regiment can actually change Cult allegiance between games, so you're not stuck with only one theme!

This isn't meant to be a review (other than I LOVE it) so I'm not going into more detail than that (the book is free - download it and have a look). It was really just to show what I've come up with over the weekend... Introducing the first unit of the Quindian 69th!

This is a unit of Fodder, 12-strong (like in Donnybrook), I spent spare time during last week building the models and literally painted the entire group Saturday morning. I'm planning another unit of the same because these guys are awful (pretty much EVERTHING in Turnip 28 is hapless) and I'll need to numbers on the battlefield. These models are based on Warlord Prussian Landwher with heads from Victrix, Warlord, Perry, and North Star (Frostgrave). There are various bits from other kits and some greenstuff work as well. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.

I'll have more soon, plus I should have my next 48-model regiment for the Gran Duchy of Sazir finished this week!

February 22, 2022

Von Tripdenfel Musketeer Regiment


The Gran Duchy of Sazir is a mysterious land of dark forests. The majority of the population are serfs, little more than slaves of the lords who rule from brooding castles. Duke Mortis (His High and Terrible Grace, Herzog of Sazir, etc.) demands universal service in the armies of the state and supplements his ranks with foreign mercenaries. 

That's it. While I could certainly write more, I decided to leave things sketchy to start. I'll fill in details as I need them. The games will be focused on the remote region of the Tower Hills so I won't need information on the intrigues that play out in the capitol or the many mistresses of Duke Mortis unless they have some sort of impact on my games.

As I mentioned in my last post, the first thing I did after settling on a map and writing the briefest of notes on each area was design the flags and uniforms. Green or red coats are the standard for infantry regiments of Sazir. These are based heavily on Seven Year War Russians, but may mix troops types from other nations. I knew I wanted to use models primarily from Wargames Foundry. To ease myself into the task of painting massive units, I decided to start with models in waistcoats. Not only are these fantastic sculpts, there is less fiddly work painting the coats. I'm calling this fashion the "Summer" uniform. As the army grows, I'll add some properly attired infantry, but I felt like this would be a good start!

It was exciting to finish the first unit in this collection—Von Tripdenfel's Musketeer Regiment!

The organization isn't yet set in stone, but tentatively 48 models, three officers, an ensign, drummer, and mounted colonel make up a regiment. This is divided into three "companies" of 16 (including an NCO). As this is primarily a solo endeavor I'm planning to write my own rules. I haven't decided if a "standard" unit is 48 models or if it's actually 16 and the larger formation will act as a "brigade" (all units must stay with a structured formation to form line, column of companies, etc). I'm planning on using the d6, d8, d10 convention found in the rest of our games (Beneath the Lily Banners, Donnybrook, and Mad for War). Combat will probably based on groups of 4 models. Morale is going to be tied in part to the number of officers in a unit (similar to The War Game, though I haven't specifically worked out the details as I also want the d6, d8, d10 mechanic involved). The rest will wait until I get more units painted! 

I won't be tying these rules to any specific period of the horse and musket age, so there may be some anachronistic features of tactics or organization. I really just want a game that "feels" like my impression of the genre rather than trying to ensure complete historical accuracy.

That will be a turn off for some, but this isn't intended as a commercial project. It's just for me and it's suppose to be fun! 

Oh, yes... they are individually based. Just lining up the little buggers for photographs was a reminder that it will be slow to set up and march them around the table, but I wanted the flexibility this allows. It was one of the "oldschool" elements I wanted to include. I'm not planning on hurrying games when I actually get the chance to play anyway. I am blessed to have a dedicated room for my hobby and can leave a game set up as long as necessary.

Again, it's very exciting to see this first unit finished. I've already started assembling my second unit—the Grimjawsopol Musketeers. They are also in summer dress, but are smartly attired in black gaiters and sporting yellow lace on their hats.

February 19, 2022

The Realm of Quindia: 1768

I've decided that 2022 will be the year to finally launch a project that's been simmering in my mind for... well... forever. The first actual wargame book I ever owned was Charge! by Peter Young and James Lawford. It was a chance purchase in 1986 at a bring 'n' buy stand at the first wargame show I ever attended in Raleigh, NC. I was fascinated by the photographs that portrayed massed units of infantry and cavalry. The Battle of Blasthof Heath provided a ready made scenario, complete with orders of battle. What intrigued me even more was a brief introduction:

The Emperor and Elector were at odds. As this situation was fairly normal it calls for no explanation. Some particularly outrageous act by the Elector had provoked the Emperor to exclaim, 'This insolent and pretentious prince must be chastised.' and to order the instant invasion of the Electorate.

I was well aware of fantasy wargaming at this point, but it was the first time I'd encountered what has become know as "imagi-nations" with historical miniatures. I later discovered Charles Grant's The War Game and an article in Miniature Wargames by Henry Hyde describing his own project, the War of Faltenian Succession. I REALLY wanted to do something similar. I filled a notebook with sketches, maps, unit organizations, personalities, and plans to muster grand armies.

But it never happened. In the dark days before the internet, it much harder to get historical miniatures than today. The only historical models I could find in any quantity were 15mm Napoleonics and that became my focus for a while. I found other rules (Shako and later Piquet) and based my collection for those. They were really more practical for the size tables I had access to anyway. My plans for big battalions were pushed into the background.

Some time around 2015, I was flirting with the imagi-nation thing again. There had been a renaissance in the idea and there were dozens of blogs drawing inspiration from the same sources that laid the foundation for my journey into the hobby. I felt like the best path forward was to come up with a small map and go from there. While searching for ideas, I realized I had a map already. I've been running D&D games in my homebrew world, The Realm of Quindia, since the 80's. The geography and nations of my fantasy world would make a perfectly usable basis for my Horse & Musket project. I drew up the map above and sketched out a paragraph on each nation. It quickly became evident that I wanted my project to revolve around the Kingdom of Goland and Gran Duchy of Sazir. The Tower Hills are rich in silver and emerald mines and claimed by both nations. Goland is obviously much larger than Sazir, but recently out of a war with the Kingdom of Bronet, with whom it now retains an uncertain peace. To Goland's south lies the Skorhean Wastes which are home to savage nomadic horsemen. The Kingdom requires an inordinate number of its troops to protect its pastoral fields from these raiders. Finally, the Prelacy of Beelzia always seems ready to expand its territory and both Goland and Sazir keep a wary eye on them.

With the greater stage set, I turned my eye toward detailing the armies. The first thing I did was design flags uniforms. As an example, here's the Northern Corps of the Gran Duchy of Sazir, based mostly on the Russian army of the Seven Year War and headquartered at Navorish.

I still hesitated to dive into 48-model infantry battalions and instead decided to build the project in 15mm. I didn't paint them, because I find painting 15mm models a chore, but rather built them up over time from eBay.

I have twelve battalions of infantry (24 models each), seven regiments of cavalry (12 models each), and eight guns for the Gran Duchy of Sazir. The army of the Kingdom of Goland currently stands near a similar number of units. It's not really a huge army as some 15mm collections go, but there are enough units to fill out several brigades per side and provide enough maneuver elements for interesting games. I'll probably continue to add to these armies in the future...

Anyway, the point of all of this rambling had really just been background for my current project. That's right! Big battalions in 28mm! I have the models to build two "starter" armies at this scale. My initial goal for each side is two regiments of infantry (each 48 models plus officers), a company of light infantry (16 models plus officers), a regiment of cavalry (24 models plus officers), and a battery of artillery (2 guns, eight crew plus officers, limbers, and an ammo wagon).

Next time I'll dive deeper into the details and show off my first finished unit!