Saturday, 18 May 2019

La Garde march North!

Here are another detachment of La Garde just about to march to Leven via Newark.  These grognards are exceptionally well travelled, having flown to Paris where they were painted by chum Lionel Bechara, posted to Scotland where chum Saxon Dog detailed and weathered them, then back down to me for basing* and now back up to join their comrades for the coming Waterloo game in Glasgow. There will be around three times as many when they are all finished and assembled. 

*I didn't have time to tuft- I'll leave that to David, who can take proper photos.

Friday, 10 May 2019

On my basing trays!

Mea culpa- it's been almost 4 weeks since my last post. Since Salute I have been painting and basing various things- mostly late medievals- that have been stuck in queus behind my Celts. It's great not to be working to a punishing deadline! Above are some Bande Nere de Giovanni pike, Perry plastics mostly painted by Shaun McTague and Richard Hampson Smith. I discovered today that my chosen yellow-ochre and black colour scheme is a little too... yellow. So I will mix in some more black-garbed minis. Behind them you may be able to make out some Florentine swordsmen. 

Below are a pair of command stands for Florence and the Bande Nere, respectively. They need to be flocked, of course. I've used lovely flags from Pete's flags on eBay, which are essential purchases for the Italian Wars.

Here are some arquebusiers- again, Shaun's going to paint some more in black, and I'll remove around half of the above from the bases and replace. The bases are shallower Batbases from a new set I've had made. Below are four Florentine mounted crossbows, I'll need to get some more done because I want to be able to deploy them in big units of 12. If one is painting plastics, there's no excuse for stinting on the unit sizes!

Finally for the Medieval period, we have above 24 Burgundians painted by French chum Lionel. I've added a highlight to the flesh and will give them a very gentle wash- I don't need to do much because they are superb paint jobs- there will be better pictures when they are based.

One reason I'm furiously basing late Medievals is that I'm hoping to get a couple of spare armies ready for the To the Strongest! "Knight Fever" tournament at the London GT in September. If you've not yet entered this, please give it some thought- it'll be a great day at what I suspect must be the world's largest wargaming tournament. The details of the tournament can be found here- it's in Edmonton and the To the Strongest! tournament is a one-day event on Sunday 15th September- so you have more than enough time to get an army in the field! 

All you need is 130 points of Medieval figures- perhaps as few as 70-80 miniatures- which you could get from perhaps 5 boxes of Perry (or Fireforge) plastics costing less than £100 at a show. I will likely play my Italian Condottieri again- they have proved to be tough opponents in the last two tournaments- although I am very tempted by the pretty Burgundians...

Above and below are some minis that I'm basing for chum Howard Litton- mostly Aventines. Their Volscians, above, are a stunning range that are all too rarely seen on the gaming table. Below are some Aventine Polybian command and Warlord artillery beautifully painted by Shaun Watson.


Finally, here are some Victrix Garde painted by chum Lionel in Paris, detailed and highlighted by David Imrie in Scotland and based by me in London. Once I've flocked them, they'll be heading back to Fife again and David can show photos of the finished units. We need to do six more of these units for the big game in June...

That's all for now! It's just struck me that perhaps 90% of the minis on this post are plastic- that's pretty much a first for me!

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Mancetter to Salute- Part II

Apologies for the delay in posting the second part of this- I have been frantically busy since Salute! All of these lovely close-ups of our Mancetter 61CE  To the Strongest! game were taken by Alan Daniels.

The chariots are mash-ups of the Wargames Factory kits with Newline and other ponies.

Above is my favourite warband, based on Tacticus' account of the druids at Mona. "On the shore stood the opposing army with its dense array of armed warriors, while between the ranks dashed women, in black attire like the Furies, with hair dishevelled, waving brands. All around, the Druids, lifting up their hands to heaven, and pouring forth dreadful imprecations, scared our soldiers by the unfamiliar sight, so that, as if their limbs were paralysed, they stood motionless, and exposed to wounds. Then urged by their general's appeals and mutual encouragements not to quail before a troop of frenzied women, they bore the standards onwards, smote down all resistance, and wrapped the foe in the flames of his own brands."

Celtic women cheer on their menfolk. I see that d****d scene-stealing flock of sheep has crept into the foreground!

Another chariot. The look of the chariots was much improved by the recent flockathon.

Some of the warbands include armoured warriors, representing dismounted noblemen and chariot warriors.

Above is a downhill shot. The legions in the reserve line were not much engaged; the fight falling to the the auxiliaries, further down the slope.

Finally I was really chuffed to receive the Bill Brewer Memorial Award for best presented game: runner up; a super seal on the event. I'd like to thank everyone who helped with the project, especially Shaun McTague and Ian Notter, and, on the day- Ian, again, Mike Brian, Tim Thompson, Andrew Brentnall and Neil Graber. Also, of course, everyone who played or stopped by for a chat! And lastly the Warlords (especially Philip Andrews) who run the event with great (and often unappreciated) efficiency.

Onward to Salute '20... for which I already have half a plan!

Monday, 8 April 2019

Mancetter to Salute! Part I

Here are some lovely photos that chum Ian Notter took of our To the Strongest! Battle of Mancetter 61CE game. The shot above catches the back of the laager, warriors, slingers, Roman skirmishers, Auxilia line, legionary line and flanking horse.

Here's a wide shot. You can see that the British line is wider than the defile between the two forests, and the size of the hill which was perhaps 20cm high. 

The British had 12' of light troops and 12' of warriors, 2' of chariots and 4' of laager. The Romans had 4' of lights, 7' of auxiliaries, 4' of legionaries and 2' of cavalry. I might revisit this battle another year if I can get a few more units of warriors painted. :-) 

Above the shots show the forests. These attracted a lot of praise; they were assembled by the simple expedient of sticking ALL the trees that Ian and I own together, in close proximity to each other. The tall trees that people particularly liked, come from Debris of War.

Another show-stealing element was the flock of sheep in the foreground. From 1stCorps, and painted by chum Shaun McTague, these aroused more interest than the 900 freshly-flocked Celts. :-/

Above, druid offer a much-needed sacrifice. Below, a downhill shot, taken from behind the Roman lines. You can just make out the British women in the distant laager.

The British warrior units are three ranks deep, bolstered by heroes. These turned out to be quite formidable of which more, in part II, tomorrow!

And finally, here's a photo of me grinning like a loon, nicked from Antonio Dimichele.  As you can see, I had a VERY good time!

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Meet the Flockers!

Here am I (left) with chum Ian Notter (right) with the 100% flocked and tufted British army that we've just completed for our huge "To the Strongest! Salute game. Many thanks to Ian- it's not something I could have done all by myself- I think I would have gone mad! Well madder, anyhow.

There are 18 warbands, each of around 36 minis for a total of 640-odd hopping mad Britons. Many of these (250+?) have been freshly painted by Shaun McTague, others come from Shaun Watson. Most of the original warband were painted by Nick Speller some years ago and have all been re-based. I reckon there are at least 90 standards and 30 carnyxs.

Here are 90 skirmishing slingers that will screen the brave (suicidal?) uphill charge. All of the units are based on irregular-edged bases from my TtS!20 series, which should blend nicely into the terrain cloth.

Here are twenty light horse and some command stands.

On the left are 18 British chariots. On the right, the wagon laager.

Finally, here are sundry baggage elements and battlefield dressing.

I'm really delighted to finish these off! Please come by and see our huge Romans vs. Boudicca game, "Mancetter 61 CE", using the "To the Strongest!" rules, at stand GA12, just to the right inside the Salute entrance- the first table you'll come to! I'll be the one in the shirt. :-)

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Flocking Britons Day 4

Day 4: The entire dining room is covered in a thin layer of flock. Beer in hand, Ian is contemplated the last remaining unflocked unit of slingers.  After this there are the 18 chariots and the laager to reflock, and then about 2000 tufts to apply. I am 92% there according to my spreadsheet!

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Flocking Britons

Chum Ian on Day 2 of the annual pre-Salute flockathon.  That's around half the Britons.