Sunday, 23 June 2019

Wargaming Butterfly

Much of the time I'm painting and basing on some huge project or another, against a tight deadline. At the moment, though, I'm not and consequently I'm flitting about, completing projects that have been on hold for six months or more, just for fun.

This weekend I've been painting Kirke's Lambs for the battle of Sedgemoor, 1685 (a long range project that probably won't be delivered for three or four years). I blame David Imrie for this 'cos he sold me some stunning French, three of four years back, and the project has subsequently ballooned into an obsession. There's something I love about the cut of the uniforms; also the relative obscurity of the period.

Today I more-or-less completed the 37 minis for this regiment, there is the work of three painters in this (including me). I have decided to ride roughshod over my mild OCD and have painted the minis with colour variations in the tunics; some are bright reds, and others a subdued madder red, with the facings in various green hues. I think it will look unusual and interesting, once based in a week-or-so.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Florentine Mounted Crossbows

These are the mounted crossbows who will accompany the recently-posted Florentine swordsmenSome people think that Italian chaps such as these might well have ridden to the battlefield but dismounted to fight, which means that these minis are somewhat redundant. Others claim that they are a valid mounted troop type, equipped with a lighter crossbow. I'm conflicted; I need to do more reading to establish how both they, and the equally tricky mounted arquebusiers, will work in the Renaissance rules.

At the moment, pending eventual rule/list changes, these guys perform a vital role, screening the advance of my Milanese knights and skirmishing on the flanks, and generally looking rather dashing!

You will be able to see them in action if you sign up for the To the Strongest! "Knight Fever" tournament in the London Games Tourney on September 15th. So far we have 13 TtS!ers signed up for this massive gaming event- the largest in the world, I believe, with getting on for 1K entrants.  It'll be the familiar 130 point 28mm army format, drawn from any of the three Medieval army list booklets. You could field plucky Normans, for example, or steel-encased Italian later knights, or even an army of Mongols- all of these were at the last tournament. Teutonic knights are very popular. Many different Medieval armies are available in plastic and I reckon quite a few different armies could be built for under £100. I will have some spare units that I can lend out, and will provide terrain if necessary. There will be four games in the day, with modest prizes and great glory for the victors!

Details are at  Knight Fever Details, and you can book your place at Knight Fever Bookings. This will be a terrific event and mustn't be missed!

Friday, 14 June 2019

Machiavellian Swordsmen

Here is my first completed Florentine unit, some unusual-looking Italian swordsmen; I just love the character of these chaps. It's quite uncommon to find infantry equipped with just a sword and no missile weapon, and very little armour. There are very few in the army lists.

This unit has been a slow burner; I bought 16 of these Perry metal minis around two years ago, mostly painted, from a chap in Sweden who had been planning to use them as soldiers from the Free City of Braavos. Chum Shaun McTague painted 8 more and I highlighted and painted the shields, which I based on Florentine heraldry and guild symbols. The flag is from Pete's Flags on eBay. I have based them on my FK&P6 bases; this means I can use them either as three bases on a 20cm grid, for shows, or, dropping a base, two on the 15cm grid we often use for To the Strongest! competitions. The bases came out really well; its hard to see the joins, and the wobbly edges vanish into my gaming cloth.

I suppose that having these (and some Florentine mounted crossbows that will follow) necessarily means that I am building a Florentine army. Machiavelli would be delighted! :-) 

Sunday, 26 May 2019

The Black Bands of Giovanni

This is my first proper Renaissance unit, representing the pike element of the Bande Nere of Giovanni de' Medici, as they might have appeared in the 1520s, after his death. Uniform details for his "orphans" are scarce, other than they wore predominately black mourning clothes. They are a sombre unit!

The superb black flags, with demons, are from Peter's flags on eBay. The minis are all Perry plastic mercenaries, painted by Shaun McTague, Richard Hampson-Smith and myself. I based them on my favourite wobbly-edged Batbase, the FK&P06, which I designed for the ECW but which turn out to be good for pretty much everything. I can field two of the elements on a 15cm grid, or all three on a 20cm grid.

Below is a shot including a command stand. I am currently raising the Bande Nere arquebusiers- I plan to field at least twice as many as there are pike. I am also sorely tempted to add a fourth rank of pike, and some mounted infantry.

I've no particular idea what I'm going to use them for, yet, but they are too good a unit not to represent!

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!